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Introduction

I will be studying abroad for a semester at Lincoln University in New Zealand from July to November. I’m studying abroad to improve my command of English terminology in my field and learn more about managing agricultural production processes. Studying in New Zealand will also give me a chance to gain an in-depth
knowledge of the organisation of agriculture in New Zealand and to learn about new production systems and attitudes to agriculture.

ELBA LORENZEN
Student, MSc in Agrobiology


Climate change and population growth pose a huge, multifaceted, worldwide challenge to agricultural production. Food production needs to be increased in scale and efficiency, while at the same time animal welfare, the environment and natural resources need to be protected. A degree in agrobiology will equip you to play a part in finding solutions to these problems.

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS

Students choose one of three tracks: 

  • Animal health and welfare
  • Plant nutrition and health
  • Organic agriculture (single degree) or Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (double degree)

and tailor their degree with elective courses on top of the mandatory courses of their track. Finally the master’s thesis can be completed either in a university research context or a company R&D environment. The MSc in Agrobiology builds on solid, biological knowledge of sustainable animal and plant production, set in the perspectives of health, welfare, product quality, and environmental impact. Graduates will be well equipped to work with both producers and end-users in agricultural production, and to communicate effectively about their field in the public arena.

AN INTERNATIONAL DEGREE

The international character of the challenges facing agricultural production and the science underpinning the MSc in Agrobiology make the international perspective an intrinsic part of this degree and its learning environment. The programme hosts international students from all over the world, and many students take advantage of the opportunity to study outside Denmark for a semester at one of our partner universities or as part of one of our double-degree programmes in Sustainable Animal Nutrition and Feeding, www.emsanf.eu and in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems, www.eur-organic.eu. The double-degree status of these programmes means that students receive both a master’s degree from Aarhus University and a master’s degree from the partner university at which they choose to complete the rest of the degree. Read more about these programmes on their individual programme pages.

CAREER PROFILE

Students on the programme have a strong basis within their track, combined with an individual profile through choice elective subjects. This creates very flexible career opportunities in the agricultural and food sector, both nationally and internationally. Typical job opportunities will be in consulting services for primary production, in agriculture and food-related industries, in teaching and research or in public administration and bodies such as the EU.

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master’s degree programme in Agrobiology requires a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural or biological science. 

Admission to the double degree version of the Agrobiology programme requires a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural, biological or environmental science, or in food technology or nutritional science.

Please note that special application deadlines, admission requirements and procedures apply for the double degree version of the Agrobiology programme (Organic Agriculture and Food Systems). Read more here.

Programme structure


 

Animal Health and Welfare line

Students taking the Animal health and welfare line take a package of courses followed by specialisation within topics such as animal breeding, applied behavioural biology, animal diseases or food science.

The aim of the package is to ensure that the student obtains basic insight into the basis for an animal-based food production. During the degree programme the most fundamental mechanisms for production both at animal and herd level will be examined, including conditions relevant to animal health, welfare and the quality of the raw materials.

On completion of the degree programme the student will be able to assess the energy and nutrient requirements of livestock for growth purposes, milk production and reproduction and assess the interaction between management, production, health and animal welfare in typical livestock production systems.

The degree programme gives students the required qualifications to be able to follow the teaching in the optional animal-oriented courses. The line concludes with a short or long experimentally-based thesis within primary animal production.

The line is targeted at careers in which knowledge of primary animal production plays a central role (for example as production advisors, teachers in agricultural colleges or in jobs in public administration or research).

Introduction course

Introduction to Animal Production

The course will introduce the student to subjects and tools in the compulsory 10 ECTS courses Animal Production, Health and Welfare and Quantitative Animal Nutrition and Physiology. This includes anatomic characteristics, feedstuffs, nutrient digestion and evaluation, as well as an introduction to the ‘herd’ as an production systems where management, animal health, animal welfare and animal production inter-relate. The course is given during a 4 week intensive period immediately prior to these courses.

If you have a Danish bachelor's degree with a focus on animal science, you will not need to take this course. Please contact the student counselor if you want to know if this applies to you.

Courses

Quantitative Animal Nutrition and Physiology

In this course you follow the nutrient chain from the initial content in different animal feeds to the content in the final animal products such as milk, meat, eggs and fur.

The studies will be project-oriented and focus on a number of nutrients in the different feeds, how these nutrients are digested in the gastrointestinal tract and absorbed in different farm animals, and how the nutrients are distributed between, for example, milk production in the udder and growth.

You will subsequently be able to assess whether the nutrient requirements of the animals have been met for various feeding strategies.

Animal Production, Health and Welfare

Livestock production systems have an important part to play in a world where the consumption of animal food products is on the increase. A modern livestock production makes very large demands on the producer, who must combine an efficient production with good animal health and welfare. The course focuses on the principal factors affecting the interaction between production, health and welfare in modern livestock herds.

You will be working with an actual herd and obtain insight into the interaction between livestock management and production and thus be able to contribute to the solution of future challenges in livestock production.

Elective subjects, first semester

Depending on your bachelor's degree, you must choose an additional 5-10 ECTS worth of elective courses from the Course Catalogue. Please contact the student counselor if you need help in picking these courses.

Plant Nutrition and Health line

If choosing the Plant Nutrition and Health line, you take a package of courses followed by specialisation within topics such as foods, feed and bioenergy, cropping systems and plant biotechnology.

The two courses analyse the plant's physiological reactions in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. They focus on the many conditions that can promote or inhibit plant growth, for example nutrient supply and pests and diseases. The aim of the package is to give students a basic insight into the elements of plant growth that are common for all crops. The approach is characterised by being problem- and project-oriented. The knowledge acquired with this package will ensure optimum gain from the subsequent optional courses. The course concludes with a shorter or longer thesis within primary plant production.

The Plant nutrition and health degree programme is aimed at careers in which knowledge about primary plant production is a prerequisite, for example as production advisors, in commercial plant breeding, as teachers at agricultural and technical colleges and in research, but the line will also form a good basis for jobs in public administration where expertise in plant production will be an advantage in, for example, local administration.

Introduction course

Introduction to Crop Nutrition and Health

The objective of the course is to introduce the student to both topics and tools of the compulsory courses ‘Crop Nutrition and Physiology’ and ‘Crop Pests Biology and Management’.

If you have a Danish bachelor's degree with a focus on plant science, you will not need to take this course. Please contact the student counselor if you want to know if this applies to you.

Courses

Crop Nutrition and Physiology

This course focuses on the fundamental factors in the soil-plant-atmosphere system that are crucial for crop uptake of nutrients from the environment and for the transformation and function of nutrients in the crop.

During the course you will be working theoretically, experimentally and project-oriented and thus obtain a basic understanding of how the environment and agronomic factors can affect plant nutrient supply, yield and quality.

Crop Pest Biology and Management

Crop pests (pathogens, plant pests and weeds) can cause considerable loss of yield and affect the quality of crops. For a crop to be profitable it is important to minimise their occurrence and to have an effective control strategy in place when needed. The course will examine the biology and damage caused by the most important weeds, plant pests and diseases. We will also focus on how to minimise their incidence and damaging effect and on how to determine if and when to initiate a control programme. Control strategies can include mechanical, biological, non-chemical and chemical methods and the principles underlying these methods will be presented.

The course will also focus on how to combine knowledge on pest biology, preventive methods and control methods in Integrated Pest Management strategies, which will often offer the most sustainable solutions. Throughout the course, theory will be illustrated with examples from practical farming.

 

Elective subjects, first semester

Depending on your bachelor's degree, you must choose an additional 5-10 ECTS worth of elective courses from the Course Catalogue. Please contact the student counselor if you need help in picking these courses. One common option is this course:

Project in Crop Nutrition and Health

The objective of the course is give the students the possibility to do a project with background in the compulsory courses ‘Crop Nutrition and Physiology' and ‘Crop Pests - Biology and Control'.

Organic Agriculture line

This line in Organic Agriculture is a specialisation in either Animal Health and Welfare or Plant Nutrition and Health, and a mandatory course (Project in Organic Agriculture) and additional courses in organic agriculture.

The first semester consists of the course Project in Organic Agriculture and the mandatory courses associated with the chosen specialisation.

The approach is characterised by a high degree of interdisciplinarity with emphasis on project work and on contact to farms and research.

The line concludes with a thesis on a subject with relation to organic farming, which can lead to employment opportunities in areas supporting the development of organic farming and food production. This includes advisory work, teaching, research and management.

NOTE: It is possible to study the line Organic Agriculture as a double degree

Courses in Organic Agriculture

Project in Organic Agriculture

The objective of the course is give the students the possibility to do a project with background in the 10 ECTS compulsory courses at the 1st term within the line and specialisation.

The specialisation in Animal Health and Welfare:

Quantitative Animal Nutrition and Physiology

Animal Production, Health and Welfare

Introduction to Animal Production

The specialisation in Plant Nutrition and Health

Crop Nutrition and Physiology

Crop Pest Biology and Management

Introduction to Crop Nutrition and Health

If you have a bachelor in Agriculture, food and Enviroment from Aarhus University you can choose a elective subject instead of the introduction course in the specialisation (Introduction to animal production or Introduction to crop nutrition and health). The elective subject could be Study Design and Analysis.

Double degree:

The study programme for first semester is as following for double degree students:

Start-up module in Organic Agriculture

Project in Organic Agriculture

Specialisation in either Animal health and welfare or Plant nutrition and health.

The introduction course of the specialisations (Introduction to animal production or Introduction to crop nutrition and health) is not a part of the study programme for double degree students.

Double degree programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems

"I have really enjoyed the programme(….). I think Aarhus and Denmark are fantastic so I hope that I can find a job or a PhD position here in Denmark - preferably in the area of organics and animals, especially organic piglets" - Julia Gajo, the first student at Aarhus University to complete a double degree in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (EUR-Organic). Read more about Julia.

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Four leading European universities in the field of agriculture and life sciences have developed the MSc programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (EUR-Organic).

The EUR-Organic double degree programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems offers a comprehensive and integrative education in all areas of organic farming, including the processing and commercialisation of organic food. The core of EUR-Organic comprises areas of specialisation that enable the students to profit from the particular and complementary strengths in teaching and research of the partner universities.

In offering the programme jointly, the partner universities can offer a wide range of elective and compulsory modules on organic agriculture and food systems and create added value for students in teaching and research, for example in the wide range of topics for the Master’s thesis. Students are challenged by different thematic approaches throughout the course of their studies: while the University of Hohenheim (Germany) focuses primarily on the food chain, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria) emphasises the system approach of organic farming. At Aarhus University (Denmark), EUR-Organic is a distinct line under the MSc in Agrobiology, where students can focus on either animal health and welfare or plant nutrition and health; while Warsaw University of Life Sciences (Poland) offers a specialised study profile on organic food processing and marketing.

In order to benefit from this complementary expertise and to get the most out of the programme, it is required that students spend one year at their chosen home university and one year at their chosen host university.

Detailed information about the programme is available online at the www.eur-organic.eu homepage, including information about the specialisations offered by the partner universities and the corresponding semester packages. This information is essential to registration by students for
courses at both their home and their chosen host university.

The full MSc study programme comprises 120 ECTS: two basic semester packages (2 x 30 ECTS), one specialisation semester package (30 ECTS), and the thesis (30 ECTS). The programme begins with a joint start-up module that is compulsory for all students enrolled in the double degree programme.

Study at two different partner universities

All students will study at two different EUR-Organic partner universities. The university at which the student is accepted in the first year of the EUROrganic is referred to as the home university; the university chosen as second university is referred to as the host university. Students may nominate
the University of Hohenheim, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna, Austria) or Aarhus University as home university, but may choose between all four institutions as host university. Work on the student thesis is assigned to the host university, though the thesis may be jointly supervised.

Work on the student thesis is assigned to the host university, though the thesis may be jointly supervised.

Programme Overview

EUR-Organic is joint Master Programme of four partner universities:

The full Master Programme consists of four semesters and the semester packages at the partner universities are structured accordingly:

1st Semester (Home University): Basic Semester Package

2nd Semester (Home University): Basic Semester Package

3rd Semester (Host University): Specialisation

4th Semester (Host University): Thesis

Specialisations

UHOH:

  • Organic Crop Production
  • Socioeconomics and Organic Farming
  • Organic Farming in the Tropics and Subtropics

BOKU:

  • Organic Agricultural Systems / Social Science and Organic Farming
  • Organic Soil Fertility and Crop Production / Horticulture Systems (drought regions)
  • Organic Agriculture  in Subtropical and Tropical Environments
  • Organic Animal Husbandry

WULS-SGGW:

  • Organic Food Quality and Marketing

AU:

  • Organic Livestock Farming
  • Organic Production of Fruit and Vegetables in a Temperate Climate

Read more at the EUR-Organic homepage.

Admission and application

To apply for the European MSc Double Degree Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (EUR-Organic), please fill in the application form and send it with the required documentation to the address below.

Admission requirements
Admission requires successful completion of a relevant and recognized university degree equivalent to a Danish Bachelor’s degree in level and length (180 ECTS). A relevant Bachelor’s degree will be within the field of agricultural, biological or environmental sciences, or in food technology or nutritional science.

English language skills equivalent to an 'English B level' in Denmark are required and can be documented as follows:

  • Required minimum EILTS score is 6.5
  • Required minimum TOEFL Scores are:
    577 Points in the paper-based test or
    233 Points in the computer-based test or
    90 Points in the internet-based test
  • Cambridge ESOL examinations
    English B – Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or First Certificate with grade A as a minimum. Applicants must upload their Confirmation of Entry stating candidate ID number and candidate secret number, which are not stated on the test result itself.
  • CEFR validated English language course
    English B – C1 level

Applicants exempt from submitting an English test are:

  • ”Native speakers” with an English language qualifying exam (including applicants with a qualifying examination from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Scotland, or Ireland).
    Please note that applicants with a qualifying examination from all other countries (including African and Asian countries, where the exam has been taught in English) must submit a test.
  • Applicants holding a Danish/Nordic/Duborg/International Baccalaureate (from the IB diploma programme)/European Baccalaureate (from the “ScholaEuropaea”) entrance examination with an English level the Danish Agency for International Education considers comparable to a Danish B level in English.
  • Applicants with an English language Bachelor’s or a Master's degree from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Scotland or Ireland. The applicant must document that the programme was taught in English.

Application deadline
Application deadline for non-EU students: 15 March
Application deadline for EU-students: 1 June

Checklist
The following documents must be submitted with the online application form. Applications will not be reviewed until all documents have been received. Candidates are responsible for ensuring that all documents are submitted on time.

  • Completed and signed application form
  • Diplomas, along with an English translation, showing examination subjects and results for each examination (a diploma without specific examination results is not sufficient). These documents must be officially certified by your home institution.
  • Transcript of records, along with an English translation, showing examination subjects and results for each examination (if you have not yet received your final diploma). These documents must be officially certified by your home institution.
  • Official descriptions of relevant courses to be completed after the application deadline.
  • An official description of the marking scale used at your home university.
  • Documentation of your language qualifications.
  • Documentation of your citizenship (e.g. copy of passport).
  • A copy of your current residence permit in Denmark (if applicable).
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Motivation letter
  • Pre-assessment you may have received from Aarhus University (if applicable)
  • Course descriptions in English briefly describing the contents of your specific BA courses or other information that will contribute to describing the contents of your Bachelor's degree programme.

Submit your application
Please send this form and all accompanying documents by mail or by e-mail to:

Faculty of Science and Technology
Aarhus University
Ny Munkegade 120, Bldg. 1522
DK-8000 Aarhus C

or

international.scitech.forsk@au.dk

Contact
For all questions related to application procedures, study contents, tuition fees and programme management contact Mette Glerup Thomsen, phone: +45 8715 1197, e-mail: mgt@au.dk

Read more at the EUR-Organic homepage.

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Career

Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

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Revised 2016.03.21