BioInnovation Wales offers training for food production, biotechnology industries
Do you live or work in Wales, are involved in food production, food processing or biotechnology, or would like to branch into this field? BioInnovation Wales is offering postgraduate training for Welsh agri-food and biotechnology industries, with courses starting at various points of the year.
Depending on the programme enrolled, courses can be completed in as little as 14 weeks or three years. Generous discounts are currently being offered for any courses taken before May 2023.
“Our largely online programme is designed to allow you to study without the need to take time out of work,” notes the organisation on its website. “However, our blended modules provide short workshop elements for some of the more practical elements.
“If you intend to work towards a full master’s you will also carry out a research project. If you are on a low income you may be eligible for help with the cost of travel or dependent care in order to attend workshops.”
BioInnovation Wales is a partnership between the Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University and the College of Engineering at Swansea University. The scheme has been supported by the European Social Fund (Priority 2 ‘Skills for Growth’) through the Welsh Government.
This enables them to offer their master’s-level training at the heavily subsidised rate of just 165 pounds per module.
BioInnovation Wales is aimed at existing and would-be technicians, consultants, researchers and managers working throughout the food and biotechnology pipelines. This includes raw material production, to processing and refining, to product development, to waste management and valorisation; or those wishing to move into these sectors.
Eligibility for modules and courses in food and biotechnology
Anyone living or working in Wales with an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject or at least two years’ relevant experience can apply to study through the BioInnovation Wales programme.
Those without a degree or relevant experience can still take a module for their own interest and can choose whether to take assignments or not. “If you successfully complete assignments and want to go further, we can then accept you onto the master’s programme,” it said.
There are a number of courses to choose from. Modules available throughout September and December include Meat Processing, Precision Livestock, Public Goods and Sustainable Supply Systems. Their January to April modules for 2022 include Fermentation for Food Applications, Future of Packaging, Livestock Health and Welfare and Waste Resource Management.
Individuals can pick whichever module interests them, and take as many or as few as they’d like, either as CPD or to build towards a range of postgraduate qualifications.
“Blocks of modules are delivered in a rolling programme, with start dates in February, June and October. The blocks are repeated each year to allow you to cover all your module choices over your years of study: if you are unable to take one in any year you can take it in the next,” it said.
The modules are flexible to enable working adults to fit learning around their work and commitments. Students spend 10 to 15 hours a week per module studying. Those who are working are advised against taking more than one module at the same time, at least until they have completed one and are aware of the workload entailed.
There are no exams, but each module contains one practice assignment and two assessed assignments. These include tasks such as completing a report as if for a trade journal, reviewing the latest literature, data analysis, essays, process design, digital stories or online presentations.
Each module also hosts a weekly forum; learners will be required to submit their best forum posts for assessment. All modules run for 14 weeks, but a postgraduate certificate course takes one year to complete; two for a postgraduate diploma; and approximately three years for a master’s, research master’s and professional doctorate programme.
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