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Degree courses look to aid economic recovery from coronavirus

By David Porter

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New courses which will equip students to support the country’s economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic are being offered at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) from September.

Professor Davy McCracken
Professor Davy McCracken

Two new degrees in Sustainable Food Production and Land Use and Agricultural Technology are being introduced.

The courses support SRUC’s focus on the sustainable natural economy, as part of its refreshed vision and mission.

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and chief executive, said SRUC was “uniquely placed” to help Scotland reset and rebuild following the Covid-19 pandemic, with the green economy highlighted by the Scottish Government as being key to the country's recovery.

Sustainable Food Production and Land Use will examine how land use practices can help tackle the “wicked challenges” facing the planet, including climate change and food security.

Students will learn about sustainable agricultural systems that can provide a growing population with food, bioproducts and bioenergy, while helping to combat climate change, enhance biodiversity, and minimise pollution.

The first year of the degree will be taught together with an HNC in Bioscience, providing an additional access route for students with two Cs at Higher level, or equivalent.

The Agricultural Technology degree will cover a range of subjects including engineering and mechanisation; electronics, computing and control systems; soils and crops; livestock husbandry and management.

Wildlife and Conservation Management will look at current techniques in the management of wildlife, habitats and recreation.

Students will take a range of modules which cover the theory and practical application of subjects such as wildlife conservation, ecology, field skills, outdoor access and land management.

Professor Davy McCracken, Head of SRUC’s Integrated Land Management Department, said: “Ensuring greater sustainability will be key for all land management systems going forward.

"This can be achieved by using existing resources more effectively through precision farming approaches, reducing waste and developing alternative products through biorefining, or managing our biodiversity and natural capital more appropriately.

“All three of the new degrees have sustainability at their heart.

"Graduates will find their expertise in demand over the coming decades, in this new environment where the green economy is seen as crucial to maintaining economic recovery.”

Applicants with an HND in a relevant subject will also be able to enrol in top-up degree courses in Applied Animal Science and Rural Business Management.

For more information about these courses, or to apply through clearing for a place in September 2020, visit: www.sruc.ac.uk/courses

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