Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module BIOL40615: Agriculture and Biotechnology

Department: Biosciences

BIOL40615: Agriculture and Biotechnology

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2020/21
Tied to C2K009


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with a clear view of the agriculture and biotechnology industrial sector.
  • To create awareness of the benefits of agriculture and biotechnology for our society.
  • To provide students links with industries in the agri-food and biotechnology sector.
  • To provide students a framework for translating the theoretical knowledge to industrial applications


  • Seminars, workshops and guided visits to generate a broad overview of the agriculture and biotechnology industry sector.
  • Group workshops to elaborate critical thinking and develop communication, data management and problem-solving skills.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Deep understanding of the agricultural and biotechnology industry.
  • Understanding of strategies for the translation of fundamental science for the improvement of agriculture and biotechnology.
  • Awareness of the technical, legal and ethical limitations associated to agricultural and biotechnological industrial sector
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to think critically within the context of agriculture and biotechnology.
  • To implement students industrial view.
  • To empower industrial networking abilities.
  • Understand the challenges associated to the agriculture and biotechnology sector.
Key Skills:
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Group working
  • Hypothesis building
  • Address questions
  • Ethical awareness

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The teaching will consist of lectures and workshops distributed across the year (~ every 2 months), in preparation for the planned industrial visits. The lecture and workshop activities will provide the theoretical knowledge and specific topic discussions for the student’s industrial visit preparation. The industrial visits aim to provide a direct interaction with the industrial sector and will illustrate the strategies used for the translation of fundamental knowledge into agricultural and biotechnological innovations. Four mentor led group surgeries are planned.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 4 2 hours 8
Seminars 4 2 hours 8
Workshops 4 4 hours 16
Industrial Visits 4 8 hours 32
Mentor/group surgeries 14 Bi-weekly 1 hour 14
Group preparation / reading 72
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written report 8000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative verbal feedback on written report.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University