Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

BSc Agricultural Science (Crop and Soil Science)

UCAS code: D403

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

College: Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Study abroad

Introducing BSc Agricultural Science (Crop and Soil Science)

There are fewer bigger global challenges than feeding the growing human population well, while protecting the natural systems on which we depend.

With the world population expected to reach 11 billion by the end of this century and demands on systems already at an all-time high, it is essential that we find new ways to feed the growing population without destroying the planet.

This programme provides an understanding of the scientific principles of crop and soil management that underpin the development of sustainable and resilient production systems. Using examples and case studies from temperate and tropical systems, it develops your analytical skills in crop physiology and agronomy, crop protection, genetic improvement of crops, soil management and nutrient cycling, which are necessary to meet the challenges of increasing global food production whilst maximising resource use efficiency and minimising the impact on the environment.

With its focus on applied science and the need to tailor solutions to the specific production environment in developed and developing countries, it will provide an excellent foundation for individuals wishing to pursue careers as agronomists, technical advisors and leaders in plant breeding, crop production and protection industries.

Revised 12 April 2019 to reflect changes to some of the courses in Years 3 and 4.

Year 1

  • Introductory Topics in Agricultural and Food Economics
  • Science for Agri-Food Systems: Cells to Organisms
  • Science for Agri-Food Systems: Interactions within Systems
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 1

Year 2

  • Applications in Agricultural and Food Economics
  • Animal Systems
  • Crop Production Systems
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 2

Year 3

  • Crop Physiology and Agronomy
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 3
  • Soils, Nutrients and Management
  • Sustainable Agri-food Systems: Challenges and Solutions

Year 4

  • Genetic Improvement of Crops
  • Professional Skills for Global Agri-Food Scientists 4
  • Crop Protection
  • Sustainable Agri-food Systems: Development and Evaluation
  • Dissertation in Agriculture and Food Security

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

Our programmes are delivered at the Easter Bush Campus, where our world-class educational facilities are being expanded. Collaborative work takes place here across a wide range of disciplines, all within easy reach of our students.

Easter Bush is home to three of the UK’s four agritech innovation centres and a network of more than 100 industry partners. Our teaching partner, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), has many of their extensive research and education farms within close reach.

The campus is also home to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (R(D)SVS), which has an international reputation for its research, teaching and clinical services, and the world-renowned Roslin Institute where many animal scientists are based.

The Easter Bush Research Consortium (EBRC) brings together the science of the Roslin Institute, the R(D)SVS, SRUC and the Moredun Research Institute. This forms one of the largest groups in the world focused on the biology of companion and production animals.


In Year 3 you will undertake a core work placement in an area relevant to agri-food systems.

There is scope to undertake additional work placements outside your studies and our staff will help you explore opportunities that match your interests and career aspirations. They may be non-credit bearing, may include additional credits for Student-Led Individually Created Courses (SLICC), or may include preparatory work for your final project.

Work placements can incur additional costs.

Study abroad

We intend to offer a year abroad as part of this programme; however, this has yet to be approved.

You may, however, take your work placement either internationally or in the UK. You are expected to meet any associated costs, which will vary according to your preferred location.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical work, problem-based learning and computer-assisted learning.

In Years 3 and 4, there is more emphasis on self-directed study and discussion sessions with internationally-renowned research scientists.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through in-course assessments and examinations. A research project or dissertation will form an important part of your final-year assessment.

Graduates will be in high demand from groups aiming to drive change and organisations leading the sustainable food debate.

This programme aims to equip you for a career:

  • as an agronomist
  • as a technical adviser or leader in crop breeding, production and protection
  • as a researcher in industry or academia
  • as a research project manager
  • as a policy advisor for government, non-governmental organisation (NGOs) or charity
  • in the agri-food industry, as an agri-food consultant, or food supply chain manager for retailers.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB by end of S5 or ABBB/BBBBB by end of S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: BBB in one set of exams.
  • IB: 30 points with 5 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: BBBB.
  • A Levels: BBB.
  • IB: 30 points with 5 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Higher: at least two of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Business Management, Geography, Environmental Science, Computing or Mathematics, at grade B, which must include Biology or Chemistry. Qualified applicants are advised to take Biology or Chemistry at Advanced Higher where possible. National 5: Mathematics, Geography or Economics at grade C and English at grade C.

  • A Levels: At least two of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Business Studies, Geography, Environmental Science, Computing or Mathematics, at grade B, which must include Biology or Chemistry. GCSEs: Mathematics, Geography or Economics at grade B or 6 and English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Biology or Chemistry at grade 5. Mathematics, Geography and/or Economics are recommended. SL: English at grade 5 and Mathematics at grade 4. From 2021, only the Mathematics: Analysis and approaches pathway will be accepted where Mathematics is required.

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 169 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information. Revised 08/08/19 to correct an error for * Pearson Test of English (Academic): to reduce score of 56 to 51 for the "Communicative Skills" sections)

If you apply to any Agricultural Science or Agricultural Economics programme you will automatically be considered for the remaining three programmes; this means you only need to use one UCAS choice for your application.

All students complete a combined Years 1 and 2 before moving onto specialist pathways in Years 3 and 4. You can change specialisms until end of Year 2.

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BSc Agricultural Science (Crop and Soil Science)

Additional costs

You will require compulsory protective clothing (estimated at £50), locker deposits (£15) and will incur costs getting to Easter Bush campus. Using public transport from the city centre will cost around £560 a year, which we will proportionally subsidise in line with your year of study.

In addition, some work placements and your final project may incur further accommodation and travel costs.

For international students, please note your immigration application may include a healthcare surcharge of around £300 a year.


A range of scholarship opportunities is available to both UK and international students.

Scholarship opportunities


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding