CPSC30050 Organic Agriculture

Academic Year 2022/2023

This elective module is designed to give the student an overview of the main concepts related to organic farming. Topics covered include the factors to be considered in the conversion from a conventional to an organic system, maintenance of soil fertility, crop rotations, manure management and composting, green manuring, pest and disease control in crops, principles of organic livestock production and marketing of organic produce.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module the student should be able to:
- Discuss the factors to be considered in the conversion to organic production
- Describe and discuss the maintenance of soil fertility in an organic system.
- Describe and discuss the prevention and control of weeds, diseases and pests in an organic cropping system.
- Compare and contrast the principles of livestock production on an organic farm compared to a conventional farm.
- Discuss the principles of marketing of organic produce.

Indicative Module Content:

Main topics on the organic agriculture (OA) module are:
- Considerations to Conversion to OA.
- Nutrient Management in OA.
- Pest and Disease Management in OA.
- Weed Management in OA.
- Soil Cultivation
- Animal Husbandry in OA

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
On the syllabus of the module, there is a section to highlight the range of student abilities, the levels of student engagement and clarity of student understanding about the outcomes and content of the module.
We teach by reinforcing interactions between instructors and student and highlight the complexity of the assessment tasks. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Review of a peer-reviewed journal article related to organic agriculture Week 6 n/a Graded No


Group Project: A group project in which a conventional farm is converted to an organic farm with an accompanied written and referenced report detailing what and why the changes / suggestions have been made. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Examination: End of Semester exam consisting of an MCQ in conjunction with short answer questions 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback is done individually post-assessment. Throughout the module many MCQ questions examples are discussed to highlight 1) the importance of reading the questions properly, 2) the main concepts of the lectures and 3) the role of continuing study and assessment.

Name Role
Dr Caroline Elliott-Kingston Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Gary Gillespie Tutor
Dr Mary Harty Tutor
Dr Alan Kelly Tutor
Professor Karina Pierce Tutor
Dr Siobhán Walsh Tutor