Learn at your own pace online
At the University of Reading, we offer a number of flexible approaches to your studies. We have full-time and part-time students, as well as students who learn by distance.
In some instances, you can even take individual modules online. For example, our PGCert Sustainable Livestock Production programme is made up of six modules, all of which can be taken on their own through the AgriFood Training Partnership (AFTP).
Read on to find out more about the individual online modules available to you.
What is sustainability?
Sustainability is one of the most important topics in the current agrifood sector, and has become a subject of debate for governments, major companies, and the general public.
In ‘What is Sustainability?’ you will be introduced to the latest research in this field, and the relevance of this topic across the industry.
Through online lectures and seminars you will explore the different frameworks of sustainability, including economic, ethical and environmental measures, and a practical sense of when and how these frameworks should be applied.
Agri-Food Value Chains
The Agri-Food Value Chains course enables participants to develop a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the Agri-Food Value Chain, its main components, and the linkages between them.
It also examines the main trends, drivers, and issues within the chain, covering aspects from agriculture and its ancillary industries, through to food retailing and catering, with reference to market structure, government intervention, and international trade.
Livestock, Livelihoods and Food Security
This course will provide an in-depth overview of the livelihoods and food security issues deriving from farmed livestock across a global range of production systems.
Focusing on the main classes of farmed livestock (dairy, beef, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry), you will explore the opportunities and challenges of keeping livestock as a means of acquiring and maintaining food security at a household, national, and global level.
You will also investigate the impact of a range of other topics impacting on individual livelihoods and food security, including innovations in the value chains of specific livestock systems, the impact of climate change, and the role of cultural preferences and ethical concerns.
This course would be of direct importance to professionals working with livestock in any capacity, but also from those looking to understand the wider impact of livestock on an individual, local, regional, and international level.
Livestock Nutrition and Feeding
This course will introduce you to the role of farmed livestock in agricultural systems, and the importance of feed in managing the nutritional requirements of different classes of livestock.
You will explore the variety of livestock feeds, including their manufacture and issues of food safety, and develop an understanding of how these can be used to meet the nutritional requirements of different livestock. Additionally, you will develop the ability to formulate diets for specific livestock, and the role of the feed industry in meeting these requirements.
This course would be particularly useful to those working in the livestock or feed industries, but also for producers or retailers looking to increase their understanding of their supply chain.
Contemporary Issues in Animal Science
This course is designed to introduce you to the latest research and contemporary practices in animal science, and the challenges and opportunities that this field faces in making livestock production sustainable in the twenty-first century.
Through online lectures and discussions, delivered through the University of Reading’s Virtual Learning Environment, the course will provide you an overview of the key issues, including producing healthy and safe animal-based foods, using fewer resources, and minimising negative environmental and health impacts associated with livestock production, while maintaining or enhancing the welfare status of the animal. You will explore the ways that animal science offers solutions to each of these problems, and the practical tools that can be developed from advances in scientific research.
After completing the course, you will have developed a well-rounded knowledge of animal science, its latest advances, and the ways that these can be applied to current problems facing livestock production in the UK and beyond. This would be of obvious practical use to those working with livestock at any point in the supply chain, but would also be of benefit to any industry professionals looking to develop their understanding of animal science and its role in modern livestock production systems.
Sustainable Livestock Production Systems
This course will explore a range of different livestock production systems and the opportunities and challenges of implementing sustainable practices. Through eight weeks of interactive, online sessions and discussions, delivered through the University of Reading’s Virtual Learning Environment, you will develop a detailed understanding of environmental, social, and economic factors associated with sustainability across a range of livestock sectors.
After completing the course you will have an excellent understanding of sustainability factors impacting livestock production systems and will be able to identify specific issues relating to pig, poultry, dairy, and ruminant meat production systems. This will be of particular use to professionals working with livestock and looking to develop sustainability, but would also be relevant to anyone across the food industry looking to increase their understanding of these topics.