APMA115-Sustainable Livestock Production Systems

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Caroline Rymer

Email: c.rymer@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This distance learning module is available to students enrolled on the distance learning Sustainable Livestock Production programme and the Advanced Training Partnership programmes.  The module can be taken as a stand-alone module by students engaged in independent study and may be undertaken, without assessment, as part of an individual’s continuing professional development.  It aims to develop in students a systematic understanding of a range of different livestock production systems.  Using a series of interactive, online sessions and discussions, it examines the challenges and opportunities facing different livestock sectors, and explores the relative environmental, economic and social sustainability associated with each sector.  

This module can be taken as a stand alone module by students engaged in independent study and may be undertaken, without assessment, as part of an individual’s continuing professional development (CPD).  Students wishing to take the course as part of a CPD programme should ensure that they are enrolled on the CPD version of the module (APMA515).


To provide a critical awareness of the challenges and opportunities associated with developing sustainable livestock production systems. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the challenges and opportunities facing different livestock sectors

  • Critically evaluate measures to improve the sustainability of a livestock production system

Additional outcomes:

  • Use appropriate tools to identify reliable information and literature on a given topic

  • Communicate research findings clearly

Demonstrate good academic practice in the use, citation and referencing of source material


Outline content:

Topics within this module will include:

  • Pig production systems

  • Poultry production systems

  • Dairy production systems

  • Ruminant meat production systems

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Each topic will be introduced with some interactive online material and downloadable materials.  There will be a series of online discussions and exercises to support learning.  An online presentation by each student on a blueprint for sustainable livestock production will form the basis of discussion at the end of the module, and form part of the assessment of the module

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Demonstration 20
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Guided independent study 75
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 60
Set exercise 40

Other information on summative assessment:

The module will be assessed by written coursework and a screencast/ online presentation.  The report will review the sustainability (economic, environmental and social) of a particular livestock production system, and the means by which its sustainability may be improved.  This would comprise 60% of the overall module assessment.  An online presentation (screencast) will be prepared that will propose a blueprint for sustainable livestock production.  This will be uploaded for viewing by peers and academic staff as part of an online conference/discussion.  The presentation and the contributions made to the online discussion will comprise the remaining 40% of the overall module mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Online exercises and quizzes, and feedback and contributions from others in the online discussion fora will provide the basis for formative assessment.

Penalties for late submission:

Work that is submitted up to one calendar month after the submission deadline (and time) will be subject to a deduction of 10%.  Work that is submitted after one calendar month beyond the submission deadline will not be marked (unless extenuating circumstances have been agreed).

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall (weighted average of the coursework marks).

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-submission of coursework

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 18 August 2017

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