SRUC

MSc Organic Farming

Campus: distance learning

"I would highly recommend the course to anyone wishing to educate themselves with current thinking and modern practices in organic farming."

When Sue Phelan was looking to expand her knowledge of organic production systems, SRUC’s Organic Farming course provided the perfect solution.

The programme offers part-time online distance learning which (in non-Covid times) is blended with residential study weekends and study tours.

“The distance learning structure appealed to me as I was also able to continue working,” said Sue, who worked as a racecourse manager for 20 years before completing the course.

“The course also has a comprehensive structure to it, covering all aspects of organic farming.”

Having completed the PgDip course, she is now graduating with a Masters degree which involved researching grass-fed organic dairy systems.

“I have been able to put my new qualification to good effect as I now work with the Irish Organic Association as a part-time inspector,” said Sue, who lives in Co Waterford, Ireland.

“With the launch of the organic farming scheme in March there has been a lot of interest from Irish farmers looking to convert to organic production methods and I also work in agricultural education and advisory roles, where I get an opportunity to share the knowledge that I have gained to date.”

Sue said she particularly enjoyed the study weekends which offered the opportunity to meet her classmates.

“I was fortunate to have encountered a diverse group of international classmates with a range of talents and experiences to share,” she said. “We continually raised the bar for each other, ensuring a high standard of thinking and good engagement throughout the modules.

“The lecturers, all authorities in the organic industry, were always keen to share their extensive knowledge and although we could not travel this year due to Covid restrictions, they have done a great job of organising online social get-togethers and networking events, which have provided us with study support and encouragement in the ‘virtual’ world.

“I would highly recommend the course to anyone wishing to educate themselves with current thinking and modern practices in organic farming.”