I’ve found myself getting more and more focussed on Soil Science, and wanting to research and test the effects of some of the ideas and systems that I am working on. Without access to academic papers, journals, expensive text books and laboratory equipment I am unlikely to be able to test my ideas sufficiently, so decided that I needed to go to University to do so.
Soil Science Degree
The only soil science degree in the UK is delivered by Aberdeen University. This link will take you to details of their course. [Soil Science Degree]. I need to be able to travel home each weekend to try and keep on top of my normal work (seven days work condensed into two), so Aberdeen was too far. When I looked at the degree content there wasn’t any more soil science content than many other agricultural or environmental science degrees.
I did quite a bit of research into the amount of soil science content available from different universities and the courses that they offer, and have accepted an offer to study a BSc Agricultural and Crop Sciences degree at the University of Nottingham. Having looked at the modules on offer from around the university, it looks like I can pack enough soil science stuff into my degree to make the time worthwhile. There are a couple of timetable clashes between compulsory modules on my course and other modules that I’d like to cover, especially in the first year. If these can’t be resolved I’ll switch courses after the first year and move to study Environmental Biology, which will give me more flexibility, and allow me to focus on soil biology. This course may become a taught Masters by then which would give me a total of five years of study.
All of the feedback that I’ve had from the academics that I’ve chatted to about my soil science projects is that it’s probably PhD level work. I’m not sure how I feel about staying on for longer to achieve that, but want to explore the option of running my project all of the way through my studies, so that it could be ‘PhD ready’ by the end of it. To do that I will need to make sure that it is set up and run correctly from the outset, which is this July, before my course even starts. That will be the focus of my research once my college course finishes.