IBERS Distance Learning Logo

FAQs

Is this programme for me?

These courses are aimed at anyone interested in improving the sustainability of the agrifood sector. Our students are drawn from large and small food processors, forward thinking farmers and growers, entrepreneurs, biotech, farm vets, feed sales, consultants, advisors, extension workers, researchers, lecturers, policy makers, brewers, and water authorities, to name but a few! If you are already working in the agrifood sector, our courses provide an ideal way to ensure that your knowledge is up to date and (if you wish) to gain postgraduate qualifications by studying while you are working. Alternatively, if this is a sector that you would like to move into, our courses provide a route for you to gain the qualifications and knowledge you need to start your new career.  If you have a science degree or at least two years relevant experience, you will be able to sign up for a postgraduate qualification. If you don’t have relevant experience or qualifications, you are welcome to register for individual modules; if you complete one successfully you can apply to join one of our MSc programmes, transferring in the credits you have completed.

How is the training delivered?

We have designed our training to be as accessible as possible to students who are working and/or are unable to come to the UK. Unless otherwise stated, each topic comprises a 13-week distance learning module worth 20 credits. The MSc Agrifood Innovation hosts some optional workshop based modules. Any of the modules listed on this site can be taken individually for your own continuing professional development or interest, or you can build them into a postgraduate qualification. If you are considering studying for an MSc, MRes or Doctoral qualification you will be expected to take the ‘Research Methods’ module. The research elements of our Masters and Doctoral qualifications are carried out in your workplace with regular academic supervision. If you are not employed in a relevant sector then you would be expected either to carry out a desk-based study or to negotiate with a local institute or employer to allow you to carry out your research there (this could involve additional costs, not covered by the programme).

How long will it take?

Flexible Part-time: From the initial start date you have a maximum of 5 years in which to complete as many or as few modules as you wish. If, however, you are undertaking a part-time Doctorate, you are permitted an additional two years, giving you seven years in total. An MSc or MRes cannot be completed in less than two years.

3 Years Part-time: This route has been designed for MSc or MRes students in receipt of a UK Postgraduate Study Loan, which requires completion within 3 years. You will be expected to study at a rate of three modules per year. Please make sure we are aware if this is the route you are taking.

How much work will I need to do?

Our distance learning modules are designed to be flexible so that you can fit studying around your work and other commitments. A typical Masters student is expected to study for 200 hours, in total, when taking a 20-credit module. Our students report spending 10 to 15 hours a week per module studying. Obviously, the more time and effort you can put in the more you’ll benefit from studying the module and the better your grades are likely to be. If you are working fulltime, we strongly advise against taking more than one module at the same time, at least until you have completed one and are aware of the workload involved.

Which is the right scheme for me?

IBERS DL hosts three taught Masters (MSc) schemes, a separate Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert), two Research Masters (MRes) schemes and two Professional Doctorates. Which scheme you choose will depend on (1) whether you want to mainly be taught, or mainly carry out research, and (2) what combination of modules you would like to take. Have a look at the ‘Building Up Qualifications’ section of this website.

When can I start?

Modules are delivered in a rolling programme, with start dates in January, May and September. You may begin with whichever of your chosen modules is most convenient. We no longer run modules with less than 5 students, so let us know in advance what your modules will be so that we can plan ahead. Popular modules are repeated each year, more niche modules may be run alternate years if there are less than five students signed up for them. If you are working towards a qualification, make sure that your module choices stack up! 

Downloadable Resources

Research Proposal Form Brochure