Precision Livestock Farming

MASTER DEGREE IN PRECISION LIVESTOCK FARMING COD. P36

LOCATION

Regional experimental agricultural farm “Improsta”

SS 18 - Tirrenia Inferiore - Km 79+800 84025 EBOLI (SA)

 

FORM OF THE MASTER DEGREE

Class of degree: Master Degrees in Livestock Science and Animal Technologies (LM-86).

Number of Credits (CFU) to obtain the Master Degree: 120 CFU.

Course length: 2 years.

Admission to the Course: Bachelor Degree in Animal Science and Technology (L38 Ministerial Decree 270/04 and class 40 of Ministerial Decree 09/99).

Access to the Course: programmed number: 25 students (20 Italians and 5 Foreigners).

 

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The Master Degree in Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) or Precision Livestock has a total duration of 2 years and requires the acquisition of 120 university educational credits (CFU). The study path is divided into 11 exams for a total of 120 CFU, a 3 CFU internship, a 9 CFU internship and a final exam for the 8 CFU Degree exam. A programmed number of students is scheduled for this Course (maximum 25 students). It will be held in English and in a residential form, at the Regional experimental agricultural farm “Improsta. Within the farm, a guesthouse together with other facilities (lunchroom, classrooms for frontal teaching, computer labs and laboratories are present. Furthermore, a herd of 150 adult lactating buffaloes, an experimental cheese-factory and a surface arable land of about 100 ha are present.

During the first year, the Disciplines related to the logistic and structural organization of the farm will be studied, through the use of geographic information system (GIS) and Digital mapping techniques for the management and processing of spatial data. The knowledge of robotics and sensors will be fundamental for the implementation of precision techniques regarding the production systems of environmentally sustainable fodder: this aim will be reached through the use of precision technologies for irrigation and crop protection. The environmental impact of livestock will be analyzed with a multidisciplinary approach: waste and effluents from farms will be characterized and some treatment methods will be analyzed, to advice the new professional figure on biomass utilization for energy production and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, according to the current legislation. The curricular Courses of the first year also include the economic analysis of the management of the farm and the control of production processes.

During the second year of the Master Degree Course in PLF, all the aspects linked to the precision techniques applied to animal science will be analyzed: precision management of livestock, precision feeding and computerized reproductive management. The precision monitoring of infectious and non-infectious diseases is also investigated in this period. The second year is completed by two elective Courses (5 CFU/each Course) for a total of 10 CFU, that will be chosen by the students, an Internship (3 CFU), and a Training (9 CFU) carried out in private companies and/or Universities in agreement with “Federico II” University.

The final exam (8 CFU) for the degree of Manager in Precision Livestock Farming consists in the development, discussion and defense of a Degree thesis performed under the supervision of a tutor.

 

SPECIFIC EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

The educational objectives of the Master Degree in Precision Livestock Farming are to obtain professional figures engaged in the field of livestock production systems with engineering knowledge and skills. This will allow to improve animal derived food together with the health and welfare of livestock, minimizing the negative impacts of production on the environment and increasing the sustainability of supply chains. Hence, biodiversity and ecosystem services will be protected, in order to create an integration between livestock and environment, in support of territorial productions of excellence. The student will acquire skills in:

  • Innovative technologies for precision agriculture and precision livestock throughout the production process;
  • Innovative technologies of transformation and final information of animal productions through the use of computerized platforms;
  • Emerging technologies in engineering applied to animal science;
  • Chemical systems and theory of development of chemical processes useful to supply the guidelines for the management and disposal of livestock waste;
  • Planning, management and control of the automated farm, through the application of robotics and sensor technology applied to animal management.

 

ADMISSION

Skills required for admission

Bachelor Degree (Three-year) in Animal Science and Technology (L-38 Ministerial Decree 270/04 and class 40 of Ministerial Decree 09/99) is required for the admission to the Master Degree in Precision Livestock Farming.

For the admission to the Master Degree in Precision Livestock Farming, the students are required to have knowledge in both basic fields, such as mathematics; general, organic and inorganic chemistry; and biochemistry, and in the following characterizing disciplines:

  • VET/01 Anatomy of domestic animals
  • VET/02: Animal physiology;
  • AGR/02: Agronomy and herbaceous crops;
  • AGR/18: Animal nutrition and feeding;
  • AGR/17: Animal breeding and genetic improvement;
  • AGR/19: Livestock systems and animal husbandry;
  • AGR/20: Animal husbandry in poultry and fish,
  • AGR/01: Rural economy

Graduates from other graduating classes may be admitted to the Master Degree in PLF, upon verification of their studies. At least 60 CFU in the following scientific disciplines would have been acquired:

  • VET/01 Anatomy of domestic animals
  • VET/02: Animal physiology;
  • AGR/02: Agronomy and herbaceous crops;
  • AGR/18: Animal nutrition and feeding;
  • AGR/17: Animal breeding and genetic improvement;
  • AGR/19: Livestock systems and animal husbandry;
  • AGR/20: Animal husbandry in poultry and fish,
  • AGR/01: Rural economy.


The graduate program can enroll students holding a certificate of proficiency in English internationally recognized. The minimum score is recognized equal to B2. If the English language is not officially recognized, a placement test supported by linguistic structures of university will be performed.

 

Procedure

The access to the PLF Master Degree is limited to n. 25 (20 Italians + 5 foreigners) students who will be selected with an admission test. The test will also be useful for evaluating the training paths for recovering knowledge and skills required. The recovery of knowledge will be performed through specific courses, useful for overcoming the problems related to the identified deficiencies. The programmed number is due to the characteristics of the residential training course and includes theoretical-practical lessons and educational workshops for groups of 5 to 10 students to guarantee effective and safe activities.

The ranking is based on the results of the admission test: if the number of candidates for is greater than the number indicated, only those students who are properly placed in the ranking list can be enrolled. Once the results are known, the students placed in the merit ranking for access to PLF will complete the matriculation procedure, within the terms established by the competition announcement for admission to the first year. The day following the expiry of this term, the availability of seats not covered will be announced. These places will be assigned according to the progressive order of the ranking itself. In case of failure to cover the 5 places reserved for foreign students, the places not covered will be assigned to Italian students, according to the progressive order of the ranking.

The announcement of the admission to the Master Degree in PLF will be published on the website www.unina.it and www.mvpa-unina.org

 

FINAL  EXAM

The Master Degree in PLF is achieved after a final test, consisting in the discussion of a paper written by the student under the supervision of a supervisor. The paper must deal with a topic concerning one or more disciplines of the course with the aim of making use of the experience gained during the two years of the course. In addition to the elaborate, the expositive and illustration skills of the subject treated and the critical discussion of the same will be evaluated. The final exam will be carried out with the public presentation of the paper in front of a commission of teachers of the course of study, possibly integrated with representatives of private partners, who will evaluate the commitment, autonomy and innovation of the student in the course of the subject of the dissertation. The candidate must present his / her paper in a set time, highlighting the aims of the work performed, the methodologies applied and the results obtained. The paper must be written in English. In order to gain access to the final exam, the student must have passed all the exams, and possibly tests, interviews, as well as all the other educational activities required by the degree program and must have attended the prescribed internship and training periods. The last exam must have been taken at least twenty days before the graduation session.

It is worth pointing out that the exam vote is expressed in thirtieths and that for the final exam in 110, with possible praise, as required by article 9 of the RDA.