Module Identifier RS14510  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Nicolas H Lampkin  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Phillipa K Nicholas, Dr Susanne Padel  
Pre-Requisite Only available to students on BSc Organic Agriculture scheme  
Course delivery Lecture   2 x 1 hour lectures per week  
  Seminars / Tutorials   2 x 3 hour seminars per semester  
  Practical   2 x 3 hour farm visits  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1000 word coursework assignment Outcomes assessed: (a)  30%
Semester Exam1.5 Hours Outcomes assessed: (b), (c), (d) and (e)  70%
Supplementary Exam1.5 Hours Outcomes assessed: All  100%

Learning outcomes

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

1. Summarise the aims and objectives of organic farming and identify the regulations governing organic farming in the European Union and the UK;
2. Identify and explain the key principles and practices involved in maintaining soil fertility and plant productivity and health in organic farming systems;
3. Explain the role of livestock and forage production in organic farming systems and identify the key principles and practices underpinning the management, productivity, health and welfare of organic livestock;
4. Discuss the role of the market and other factors influencing the physical and financial performance of organic farming and their implications for the adoption of organic farming and the conversion process;
5. Discuss the contribution of organic farming to food quality, environmental and social policy objectives and outline the policy measures which have a direct influence on the extent and adoption of organic farming in the European Union.

Brief description

The aim of the module is to describe and explain the objectives, principles and practice of organic farming systems in a UK and European context. It covers the objectives, principles and practice of organic farming, including soil management, crop production, livestock production, business, socio-economic and environmental aspects. The performance of organic farming in the context of the regulatory and policy environment within which it operates is considered.

Transferable skills

.1 Independent project work
This will be addressed through the coursework assessment

.2 IT and information handling
Word processing and internet usage as part of coursework assessment

.4 Writing in an academic context

.5 Oral discussion and presentation
Tutorials will be held to encourage group discussion at this level.

.6 Careers need awareness
Module will give perspectives on the scope of organic food and farming activities and the potential for careers in different areas

.7 Self-management
Submission deadlines for coursework assignment

.8 Group activity
Tutorials will be held to encourage group discussion at this level.

Reading Lists

Altieri, M (1995) Agroecology - the scientific basis of sustainable agriculture. 2nd. Intermediate Technology Publications; London
Balfour, E B The Living Soil and the Haughley Experiment 1976. Universe Books; New York
Blake, F (1994) Organic farming and growing Crowood Press, Swindon
Lampkin N H (1990) Organic Farming Farming Press
Lampkin, N and Measures (2001) 2001 Organic Farm Management Handbook
Mollison B (1990) Permaculture. A practical guide for a sustainable future. Island Press
SA (2001) Standards for organic food and farming Soil Association Organic Marketing Co Ltd
Tinker, P B (2000) Shades of green: a review of UK farming systems RASE
(2001) UKROFS standards for organic food production UK Register of Organic Food Standards, MAFF, London

Technical Reports
Soffe, R J (ed) (2002) Agricultural Notebook: see N H Lampkin 'Organic Farming' 20. Blackwell Science


This module is at CQFW Level 4