Hear What our Students have to Say


Comments from Students

"The module was fantastically well organised, the support given by all the tutors and admin staff was excellent and I am really enjoying learning alongside my job - it is a fantastic way to learn and further career development, I would recommend it to anyone."

"I found the course very useful and have learnt a lot more than I expected. Thank you for the excellent standard of material and tools you made available to me"

"The course really got my brain back to work. I loved the level it was pitched at and the challenge that presented."

"I can talk to farmers with more confidence"

"it is no mean feat in creating such a well organised and smoothly run module"

"I enjoyed the academic challenge and joy of learning new material and realising the background behind new EU and UK government policy - it suddenly makes sense."

'will lead the design of several of the agricultural modules I oversee within our FdA Agricultural Business Management programme'

"I most enjoyed posting and getting feedback on the posts'


Interview with a Distance Learner

‘I had enjoyed studying at Harper and found that I had really begun to miss learning. On top of that, this course looked like it would give me the opportunity to bring myself up to date with the latest research without having to take time away from my farm and young family. 

The course is at a postgraduate level, so I knew that it would be more difficult than my first degree but what worried me most was fitting study around the rest of my life – and it was quite intense but, once I had got used to studying via the web, I found it really enjoyable. The videos were easily as good as being in a lecture theatre AND had the added bonus that I could pause them (to make a cup of tea!) or replay bits I felt I hadn’t quite got. I also found using the electronic library was an absolute joy in terms of time saved ferreting around in a library. Although it wasn’t obligatory, I was really glad that I attended the introductory workshop as it made it easy to relate to Neil [tutor] and the other students that I met there.

The most important consideration from my point of view was time management  - I did pull a couple of late-nighters but whilst this was how I had worked in my student days, I soon realised that it wasn’t at all compatible with my life now! The deadlines throughout the course were good because they meant that I wasn’t falling into the trap of leaving everything until the end. Fitting study around life was a struggle but once I started planning for study time my marks did reflect the extra effort I was able to make.

What I gained was a much broader understanding of loads of topics; for example, the methane debate. The course really highlighted the importance of going back to the source material rather than accepting the word of others. On top of this, learning how to critique research papers has made me much more questioning of claims and their sources. I have made several small changes to the way I farm as a result of the course. For a start, I have started adding yeast to the finishing bull rations. Having gone through the source material I now understand how this fits into and affects the system by improving rumen fermentation; and how it therefore offers some protection against an overburden of concentrates. We have also begun our own on farm trial in order to quantify the benefits of yeast within the ration. I am now much more aware of the impact on the rumen of changing diet and as a result I am implementing changes much more slowly; and because of my much deeper understanding I feel confident about the changes that I am making."

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