Graduate Study
Agroecology

Graduate study in Agroecology, with major in Agroecology or Microbial Biotechnology in Agriculture, can be continued after 3-year BSc study in Agroecology or related studies from University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture or other related faculties in Croatia and abroad.

Study Programme Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Željka Zgorelec, PhD

Description

Study programme of the graduate (MSc) course in Agroecology is adapted to the requirements of highly specialized and flexible studies, with the emphasis on developing individual competences required by the current and future public and private economic subjects in this country and abroad, as well as for independent entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, students are awarded the title Master of Science in Agroecology (Mag.) Graduates become specialists competent, among other things, for jobs involving organization and making independent decisions complying with the new regulations on environmental protection, primarily in technological and research processes, agricultural production, as well as in public and economic services in charge of planning and applying environmental protection measures according to statutory regulations. Holders of MSc in Agroecology can also work as research associates in laboratories, participate in research work at state institutions, institutes, faculties and colleges, and in a number of public and private companies dealing with environmental protection. They can teach at secondary vocational schools as well as at three year colleges, work for the agricultural extension service, or continue education by enrolling in doctoral or specialist study courses. The MSc course extends over two years (7th - 10th semesters). The course workload equals 120 ECTS points. The curriculum includes mandatory and elective modules, one-month practical work, participation in a professional project and writing a degree thesis.

Objective 

The objective of the Agroecology study programme, major in Agroecology is to enable students to acquire individual specific competencies and skills aligned with requirements of existing and future public and private businesses at home and abroad as well as independent entrepreneurship. Through the contemporary teaching process, the study is adapted to the needs of a highly specialized and flexible way of studying. It is expected that students, through a wide selection of elective courses, understand the importance of soil as a natural resource and its multipurpose role in the environment as well as to adopt advanced knowledge about the soil - water - plant system and numerous interactions within the system. In addition, the study enables understanding of individual segments of the wider environment, and related scientific disciplines, which is necessary for the complete understanding of sustainable management of agro-ecosystems. Furthermore, the objective is to make graduates qualified for performing professional organizational jobs and to independently make decisions in accordance with environmental protection rules, primarily in technological and research processes, in agricultural production as well as in public service companies and the industry where is necessary, in accordance with legal regulations, to plan and implement environmental protection measures and to manage land in a permanently sustainable manner. In addition, the objective of the study programme is to make future graduates qualified for jobs in appropriate laboratories as well as for work in (state) institutes, faculties and colleges, and public and private companies dealing with environmental protection. Finally, the study enables students to acquire knowledge and skills in order to be able to teach at vocational secondary schools and colleges, work in extension services or continue education at the postgraduate study level.

Learning outcomes

  1. Define the characteristics of soil and water resources and their rational usage, as well as the use of new technologies in agriculture, waste management and environmental protection.
  2. Identify and critically judge the role of microbial biotechnology in the modern development of the sustainable agriculture concept.
  3. Explain causes and threats of soil degradation and environmental pollution from agricultural sources, as well as revitalisation possibilities of degraded soils by amelioration measures and/or application of microbial soil component.
  4. Analyse the effects of physical, chemical and biological processes on the genesis and development of pedosphere.
  5. Evaluate the role of microorganisms and their metabolic processes in classical and modern biotechnology and the possibility of their application in creating new biotechnology products.
  6. Explain the role of the most important microbial processes in soil quality preservation, environmental protection and production of various fermented products.
  7. Apply the field and analytical procedures for the identification of different soil types and interpret soil properties. Explain the analytical procedures for the isolation and identification of microorganisms from different environments (soil, water, plant material, food).
  8. Develop and recommend plans for agricultural land and water management, as well as the environmental protection programmes.
  9. Explain the role and interactions in microbial communities in the environment and in food production and preservation as well as the impact of environmental conditions and anthropogenic effects on their structure and function.
  10. Estimate the meaning and importance of the exploitation of beneficial associations of plants and microorganisms in sustainable agriculture and environmental protection.
  11. Conduct the control of microbiological food safety as well as various microbiological preparations that are used as auxiliary means for soil improvement and to recommend the type and method of their application in specific agro-ecological conditions.
  12. Integrate different methods of molecular microbiology in order to understand the latest developments in this field and to interpret the results of microbiological tests of food, soil and water.
  13. Create and manage scientific and applied research in the field of agroecology.
  14. Recommend ways and methods of permanently sustainable use of soil and water, in relation to agriculture and other activities in order to preserve soil and water from degradation.
  15. Develop independent learning and lifelong learning skills.

Study Programme Coordinator: Prof. Mirna Mrkonjić Fuka, PhD

Description

Knowledge in microbial biotechnology is growing exponentially and it has a variety of useful application in agriculture. Since the microbial biotechnology in agriculture is a broad and diverse field, an interdisciplinary approach in education is needed. We offer a wide array of  courses which enables each student individual approach in obtaining both fundamental and applied knowledge as well as practical skills in this area. Complementary and related courses are also included in this programme insuring a wide base of knowledge wheather for further specialization or various possibilities of employement. Masters of science in major Microbial biotechnology in agriculture, depending on the selected modules, can be qualified to work in microbial laboratories on determination and monitoring the status and transformations of microbial component of soil which is of crucial importance for soil fertility. Graduates will be also qualified for jobs in laboratoires for food microbiology in state institutions and  public sevices. Graduates become specialists competent, among other things, for jobs involving organization and control of microbial biotechnology processes in industry, small enterprises and family farms.

Objective 

The contemporary concept of increasing agricultural productivity in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way is not possible without exploitation of natural microbial processes. The study programme Microbial Biotechnology in Agriculture enables students to acquire both fundamental and applied knowledge and skills from various disciplines of microbiology and related areas in order to ensure students understanding of new scientific knowledge and active participation in application of this knowledge to various fields of agricultural production and environmental protection.

The objective is to enable students to participate in various scientific and professional research activities related to application of the latest scientific findings of microbial biotechnology in the field of plant and animal production and protection and quality control of soil as an irreplaceable natural resource. Thereby, it is important to develop the ability to integrate knowledge from different scientific disciplines thus enable students to understand and evaluate more complex areas in the modern microbial biotechnology.

Upon completion of the study, graduates will be able to continue education at the postgraduate study level. Considering the interdisciplinary study concept, students will be qualified to work in microbiological laboratories on determination and monitoring of microbial soil component status and transformations, to work in monitoring services and in microbiological food control laboratories as well as for jobs involving organization and control of microbial biotechnological processes in the industry and on family farms.

Learning outcomes

  1. Define the characteristics of soil and water resources and their rational usage, as well as the use of new technologies in agriculture, waste management and environmental protection.
  2. Identify and critically judge the role of microbial biotechnology in the modern development of the sustainable agriculture concept.
  3. Explain causes and threats of soil degradation and environmental pollution from agricultural sources, as well as revitalisation possibilities of degraded soils by amelioration measures and/or application of microbial soil component.
  4. Analyse the effects of physical, chemical and biological processes on the genesis and development of pedosphere.
  5. Evaluate the role of microorganisms and their metabolic processes in classical and modern biotechnology and the possibility of their application in creating new biotechnology products.
  6. Explain the role of the most important microbial processes in soil quality preservation, environmental protection and production of various fermented products.
  7. Apply the field and analytical procedures for the identification of different soil types and interpret soil properties. Explain the analytical procedures for the isolation and identification of microorganisms from different environments (soil, water, plant material, food).
  8. Develop and recommend plans for agricultural land and water management, as well as the environmental protection programmes.
  9. Explain the role and interactions in microbial communities in the environment and in food production and preservation as well as the impact of environmental conditions and anthropogenic effects on their structure and function.
  10. Estimate the meaning and importance of the exploitation of beneficial associations of plants and microorganisms in sustainable agriculture and environmental protection.
  11. Conduct the control of microbiological food safety as well as various microbiological preparations that are used as auxiliary means for soil improvement and to recommend the type and method of their application in specific agro-ecological conditions.
  12. Integrate different methods of molecular microbiology in order to understand the latest developments in this field and to interpret the results of microbiological tests of food, soil and water.
  13. Create and manage scientific and applied research in the field of agroecology.
  14. Recommend ways and methods of permanently sustainable use of soil and water, in relation to agriculture and other activities in order to preserve soil and water from degradation.
  15. Develop independent learning and lifelong learning skills.

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