Masters of Advanced Studies and Diploma of Advanced Studies
in Integrated Crop Management
Food security, food safety and environmental sustainability are critical challenges for the growing population. It's time to engage with education as a pathway to new expertise, and new solutions.
One answer available today is Integrated Crop Management (ICM), increasingly required as a standard for agricultural production around the world. We aim to address today’s critical agricultural and environmental challenges by creating a unique higher education programme in Switzerland about ICM. The Masters of Advanced Studies in ICM, also offered as a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS), will give students everywhere the opportunity to learn about sound crop management principles and to explore solutions that can be incorporated into practice and policy back home.
Launched in collaboration with the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and the Jura Canton, scientists, teachers, extension officers and policy makers will come to Switzerland to enrich their knowledge about the importance of ICM, supporting its adoption as a long-term strategy to address global challenges. This is the first post-graduate degree to be offered in the Jura region, and commenced with its inaugural class in March 2015. Scholarship funding is available for high calibre individuals from around the world.
This is an interdisciplinary study programme providing knowledge on ICM as a sustainable agricultural production system that improves overall crop health. ICM involves managing crops to optimize yield and profitably with minimal negative impact on the environment. It considers the local soil and climate conditions and safeguards the farm’s natural assets. The MAS ICM study programme also addresses the wider implications of ICM, particularly the socio-economic and ecological aspects, which form the backdrop of this holistic agricultural production system. General topics covered include: soil management, seed selection, crop nutrition, cropping strategies, pest and landscape management, water management, statistics, national and regional agricultural policies, and rural economics.
The MAS in ICM is targeted towards professionals and specialists from crop or environmental management who hold a Master’s degree or Bachelor’s plus the equivalent practical experience. They come from fields of extension, biology, agriculture, research, teaching and policy. Participants from developing countries are encouraged to apply. A limited number of scholarships will be available to cover costs for tuition and living costs for students from developing countries. Successful students will enhance their technical skills and scientific background in ICM and will develop a broad and integrated vision of agricultural food production and environmental sustainability. Successful MAS participants will be in the position to work in public and private sectors dealing with sustainable agriculture, such as governmental offices, research institutions, universities, advisory services, non-governmental organisations and private companies.
Taught in English, the duration of the study program is 2 semesters (full time for 9 months), consisting of 13 thematic modules, a workshop on the future of agriculture and a final case study session on building an ICM strategy. Modules will include research demonstrations, field visits, and study tours to partner organisations. The programme will be led by ICM experts from CABI and University of Neuchâtel, and feature interdisciplinary guest lecturers from around the world.
Please note, this programme can be limited to the attendance of the courses only and the validation with exams to obtain a DAS (Diploma of Advanced Studies). Participants of the MAS are also required to write a thesis during the last 12 weeks of the programme.
The 2015 MAS in ICM Annual Review includes a look back at the first year of the course through the eyes of its inaugural intake, with encouraging reports that the course is already helping students to address the agricultural issues in their countries.