Harper Adams is the UK’s only provider of postgraduate courses in entomology and related areas. There is currently a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and the understanding of biodiversity. By successfully completing this course you will develop a range of abilities that will prepare for an interesting and fulfilling career in an area with considerable opportunity.
Insects and allied invertebrates comprise approximately 78 per cent of the world’s macro-biodiversity, whereas vertebrates, even using the most generous estimates, make up less than three per cent. Insects and their relatives play an important role in all our ecosystems. They range from beneficial insects such as pollinators and natural control agents to essential parts of the decomposition cycle such as dung and carrion insects. Many are also important pests of agriculture, horticulture and forestry, in addition to those that cause human health problems. Other insects are used as model organisms for evolutionary and genetic studies.
Many insects are also rare and endangered and need to be managed for conservation. It is highly likely that large numbers of insect species are becoming extinct before they are discovered. At the same time we are threatened by invasive species making their presence known in areas where they have previously not been seen. Although insects are so numerous they are extremely understudied. We consider it very important that future generations are provided with the knowledge and expertise to address this situation.
This research-based course provides students with an understanding of the basic and applied aspects of entomological research. The course comprises a comprehensive lecture and seminar series with two 20-week research projects. It equips science graduates with the necessary skills to proceed to a PhD and an established career in entomology or related areas such as insect conservation, crop protection or the agrochemical industry.
Research projects are available in the wide range of subjects covered by the research groups in the department and choices are made in consultation with expert staff. Placements at linked research institutes and other universities in the UK may be available. Students may also have the possibility to undertake their second project overseas.