13:00 - 15:30
A guide to asking the right questions about postgraduate study
MSc Crop Protection, PhD research student
With a BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Crop Management from Harper Adams under his belt, Andrew Watson decided to remain with us to complete his masters degree . and then his doctorate!
Harper Adams has by far the best reputation within the industry. Having already been there for fours years I knew the lectures were of a very high standard. The MSc allowed me to study the subject I was passionate about in more detail. It gives you greater opportunities to get the job you want, and enables you to progress more easily.
The MSc works well because each module is taken in an intensive week of lectures, enabling you to stay focused on a specific subject. This makes best use of your time and allows you to organise your life around studies. Having an MSc/PGD/PGC definitely gives you an edge when applying for jobs, and certainly improves your self-confidence, time management, report writing and organisational skills.
He agrees that Harper's plaudits for teaching are well deserved:
The teaching at Harper Adams is fantastic; the lectures are very well organised and highly relevant to what I want to do. The university also has very good facilities, especially with the new library, and a great social life! I have been a member of its outdoor pursuits club and have been rock climbing, sky diving, ice skating, skiing, and kart-racing. I was also a member of Harper Adams rowing club, shooting club and off road club, so I've never been short of something to do when I'm not studying.
Having completed his masters Andrew has now embarked on a PhD here at Harper Adams. He is looking into optimising the efficiency of fungicides in distilling wheat, sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection, Harper Adams and with support from the Scotch Whisky Research Institute.
This project is designed to help improve the efficiency of potable (whisky, vodka, gin) and fuel (bioethanol) alcohol. This will be achieved by maximising the efficiency of fungicide inputs into distilling wheat crops. The project looks at the effects of the different fungicides and diseases on canopy and grain development in relation to alcohol yields.
I would advise anyone who was thinking of doing a postgraduate course at Harper to go and do it, it is the best decision I ever made!
REALM (part time)
Many mothers fear that taking time out to have a family may set back their career, but with our flexible part time options, you can combine a postgraduate qualification with parenthood whilst staying abreast of industry advances, just as Lisa Randles is doing:
Working with the National Trust made me realise I was interested in rural surveying as a career, but at the time I was also about to start a family so I decided it would be an ideal opportunity to study part-time on the REALM course whilst looking after my daughter.
Students can take up to four years to complete a diploma but Lisa aims to complete within three:
The course gives me the flexibility I need and will work out well because when my daughter starts school I can go back to work, hopefully as an Assistant Rural Surveyor and start working towards my APC professional exams for chartered status.
I would definitely recommend postgraduate study. It opens your horizons and especially the REALM course, which leads you into a clearly defined and rewarding profession. Harper Adams has excellent teaching standards and lecturers who love their jobs! Being here I have already developed so much confidence in myself, especially as I was initially wary about coming from a non-farming background. But I was welcomed straight away and immediately felt a sense of belonging. I've met so many good friends and formed friendships that I am sure will last a lifetime.