First Intake AY 2019/20


BSc (Hons) in Bioresource and Agricultural Science (JS2510)

Introduction

This new programme offered by the Department of Biology, with the first intake in September 2019, is the first professional, multidisciplinary degree programme in Hong Kong that explores the key issues shaping the outlook of agricultural science and the management of bioresources from the perspective of sustainability. This internationally competitive programme focuses on the integration of agriculture with bioresource management — a new and unique approach not found in other degree programmes in Hong Kong.

Bioresources, which refer to any resource of biological origin including all living organisms and its derivatives that have actual or potential use or value for humanity, are being depleted at an alarming rate due to overexploitation and environmental problems such as the contamination of land and water, and the effects of climate change, all which influence food security and food safety. Thus, it is important to cultivate an understanding of sustainable resource management via sustainable agriculture practices and bioresource conservation.

Locally, the redevelopment of agriculture in Hong Kong has great potential as highlighted in the recent Policy Addresses from the Hong Kong SAR Government. The New Agriculture Policy and the Hong Kong 2030+ initiatives have endorsed the future increase in agricultural activities in Hong Kong, which aim to diminish the stress on local food security. The recent development of the “One-Belt-One-Road” and the Bay Area in South China also addresses the demand on professionals and experts in bioresource and agricultural science.

Programme Objectives

The programme aims to:

  • provide students with essential knowledge and a solid foundation for the study of bioresource and agricultural science;
  • deepen students’ appreciation of how sustainability could contribute to nature and humanity and understanding of the science of sustainable agriculture and bioresource management;
  • develop students’ ability to utilise research methodologies, field skills and statistical tools to identify and critically analyze agriculture, bioresource and conservation issues in the local, regional and international contexts; and
  • heighten students’ sensitivity to conflicts and challenges in current issues concerning the interfaces of agricultural practices, nature conservation, urban development and bioresource management.

Special Features of the Programme

  • First multidisciplinary degree programme in Hong Kong covering agriculture, landscaping, social, environment, economic and sustainability
  • Internship experience in the industry for all students
  • Basic farm training at the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) Experimental Station
  • Local/overseas technical and practical training, e.g. Organic Certification and Inspector Training Course by International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA)

Structure of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme

The required number of units for graduation is 129 units

  • Science Common Core – 16 units
  • Major Core and Major Electives – 52 units
  • University Core – 13 units
  • General Education (GE) – 18 units
  • Free Electives – 30 units

Schedule of Courses by Semester§

Semester 1 Semester 2
Year 1
(Total 31 units)
Introduction to Biology
Introduction to Chemistry#
Integrated Science Laboratory
Essence of Computing#
Introduction to Mathematics and Statistics#
Introduction to Green Energy / Introduction to Physics#
University Core/ GE or Free Electives
Year 2
(Total 33 units)
Biodiversity
Biodiversity Laboratory
Introduction to Agricultural Science and Food Systems
University Core
GE or Free Electives
Genetics
Natural Resources and Environment
Summer Internship
University Core
GE or Free Electives
Year 3
(Total 34 units)
Ecology
Ecology Laboratory
Soil Science and Fertility
Soil Science Laboratory
GE or Free Electives
Crop Production and Management
Plant Diseases, Pests, and Weed Management
Bioresource and Agricultural Science Laboratory
Major Electives Course
GE or Free Electives
Year 4
(Total 31 units)
Farm Management for Urban Environment
Urban Horticulture
Bioresource and Agricultural Science Project I
Major Electives Course
GE or Free Electives
Biological Resources and Management
Agribusiness: Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Organic Certification and Inspector Training
GE or Free Electives

# Students may take either all four courses OR three courses from the four courses and one course from the Major Elective Courses to fulfil the requirement of Science Common Core (16 units)

Major Electives

Students can choose from the following list of major electives:

  • Plant Physiology
  • Principles of Environmental Management
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Bioresource and Agricultural Science Project II
  • Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
  • Analytical & Testing Sciences Tutorials I
  • Rural and Agricultural Development in China

Career Prospects

The Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Bioresource and Agricultural Science will provide graduates with the knowledge and practical skills required for a wide array of bioresource, agriculture, and environmental-related professions.

  • Agribusiness (agricultural produce e.g. crops, agrochemicals, animal feeds, and equipment and services)
  • Businesses (production, processing, distribution and retailing in the food sector)
  • Professionals in agrotechnology
  • Research and development (crop and soil science, environmental science, food science, animal science)
  • Environmental consultancy
  • Government (e.g. Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Environmental Protection Department)
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Green groups

The programme is supported by the Institute of Bioresource and Agriculture (IBA) which was newly established under the Faculty of Science. The Institute serves as a knowledge hub that actively engages in research in sustainable agriculture and bioresource management, and promotes bioresource conservation, sustainable consumption, and organic agriculture to the general public.