AGROBIOLOGY

Introduction

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.

Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University

The field of Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University belongs to the elite among agricultural science institutions worldwide and carries out cutting edge research. The core areas of research are: Climate and natural resources, environment and bioenergy, organic farming, food quality, farm animal production and plant production.
Sustainability is a fundamental principle. The goal is to seek solutions that contribute to environmentally and economically sustainable development of the agricultural and food industries.

Agricultural Sciences in the rankings

Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University ranks ninth in the 2016 US News Best Global Universities Ranking, and tenth in the 2016 National Taiwan University Ranking. Agri­culture and Forestry at AU is ranked between 51 and 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.

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

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

Academic regulations


 

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'.

Future Cropping scholarships for highly talented students

Each year, Aarhus University offers a limited number of Future Cropping scholarships in order to give highly talented students the opportunity to conduct their Master’s studies at AU.

Students from the Republic of Korea, India, United States, Brazil, Japan and China are eligible for application. The selected students will receive a full tuition waiver including a monthly scholarship of DKK 8,300 towards living expenses.

The scholarships will give candidates the opportunity to complete a two-year Master’s degree programme at the faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

The two successful students will be linked to specific Future Cropping activities and will be expected to do an internship or a research project with a company within the Future Cropping programme. The students will each be assigned a mentor at their department.

Read more about Future Cropping scholarship

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 semester within the line and specialisation.

If you choose the specialisation in Animal Health and Welfare, you must take these mandatory courses in the 1st semester:

Quantitative Animal Nutrition and Physiology

Animal Production, Health and Welfare

Introduction to Animal Production

If you choose the specialisation in Plant Nutrition and Health, you must take these mandatory courses in the 1st semester:

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.

In addition, you must take at least two of these four advanced organic agriculture courses:

Organic Livestock Farming (Autumn semester)

Organic Production of Fruit, Berries and Vegetables in a Temperate Climate (Autumn semester)

Organic Agriculture - System Analysis, Product Quality and Environment (Spring semester)

Organic Agriculture in a Development Perspective (Spring semester)

 

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.

Follow us on Facebook!


The MSc programme in Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (EUROrganic) is a unique degree combining high-ranking research environments with state-of-the-art knowledge from industry leaders in organic food production. It prepares students to develop the solutions of tomorrow focusing on goals such as high crop yields, high animal welfare, and low environmental impact. Students also learn how agriculture systems and current methods of food production work.

An international double degree

This programme is a collaboration between four leading European universities in the field of agriculture and life sciences (Aarhus University, University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, University of Natural Resources and Life Science in Vienna, and Warsaw University of Life Sciences). Students spend one year at their chosen home university and one year at their chosen host university, and receive degrees from both institutions. Each university takes a different thematic approach to organic food production, with Aarhus University’s specialisms including organic agriculture with a focus on animal or plant production, health, and welfare/ nutrition. For detailed information on the different universities’ specialisms, visit www.eur-organic.eu.

An ideal study environment

Denmark is a world leader in organic food production, which provides the ideal setting for specialising in this field. The Danish government was one of the first to prioritise organic production, and an increasingly high percentage of food produced in Denmark today is organic. This programme gives students an international profile, network and perspective. Students will be exposed to differing parameters in different countries and agriculture systems around the world, and they will learn from their peers’ different ways of approaching a problem – a perfect preparation for a future career in an increasingly globalised industry.

Career profile

Graduates can choose from a wide range of careers in supporting organic farming development. Recent graduates have worked in research, with authorities and advisory services in primary production, and even in teaching. 

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:

At Aarhus University, organic agriculture is an integrated part of all courses, and therefore the programme for students with specialization in organic agriculture is a combination of ordinary courses and courses focused on farming in an organic setting. 

  • Organic Livestock Farming
  • Organic Crop Production

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, nutritional or environmental sciences.

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.

Follow us on Facebook!

Student life

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

 

With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.

 

The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.

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.