Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Sustainable Grassland Systems
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture Distance learning equivalent of 20 x 1h lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Online Forum  25%
Semester Assessment Production of 2 critiques of research papers  30%
Semester Assessment Report linking the nutrient requirements and pasture supply for grazing cattle and/or sheep  45%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to the failure of the module  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Detail the range and distribution of grasslands and forages and the characteristics of the major herbage species.

2. Review and evaluate the development of new forage crops for use in pasture-based systems.

3. Review and evaluate the potential of grass biorefining.

4. Evaluate the influence of management and environment on pasture composition and critically appraise forage cropping programmes.

5. Evaluate grazing and forage conservation requirements and evaluate grassland and forage management plans and conservation systems in order to provide optimum yield and quality.

6. Critically appraise the potential for current research in grassland and forage crop production and utilisation to provide alternative methods of livestock feeding.


A 2-day workshop providing a total of 10 hrs of lectures and seminars followed by a self-access distance learning pathway equivalent to a further 30 hrs of formal input

The aims of the module are:

To consider in detail the principles and practices underpinning the husbandry of grassland and forages with particular reference to livestock nutrition and wellbeing. The precise management requirements of a range of forage crops and the factors that underpin a range of forage cropping programmes will also be evaluated. Students will benefit significantly from the research being conducted in this area at IBERS and so have the opportunity to be involved in the advances at the forefront of grassland and forage science.

It will achieve this by considering the following areas

  • Range and distribution of grasslands and the characteristics of herbage species
  • Developments in new forage varieties
  • Managerial and environmental factors, including grassland nutritional requirements, that effect pasture composition and quality.
  • Range and use of forage crops and evaluation of forage cropping programmes.
  • Forage crop breeding
  • Grazing and forage conservation systems.
  • Novel grassland and non-arable crops research and its potential to affect future livestock feeding practice

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number One of the assessed assignments will be based around a grazing and forage requirement assignment which will require the student to calculate nutrient requirements and pasture supply for grazing cattle and/or sheep.
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication databases.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Online quizzes will be used to help develop and improve students problem solving skills.
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self study and work towards their assignment and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills The relationship between animals and their feeding / foraging environment.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 7