First Intake AY 2019/20

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

#This is a new BSc programme approved by the Hong Kong University Grants Committee (UGC) and is subject to the University’s official approval.

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 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 Inspector Certification Course by International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA)

Structure of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme

The required number of units for graduation is 129 units

  • Common First Year 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#
Introduction to Physics and Energy Science#
Essence of Computing#
Introduction to Mathematics and Statistics#
Integrated Science Laboratory
University Core
GE
Year 2
(Total 34 units)
Biodiversity
Biodiversity Lab
Introduction to Agricultural Science
University Core
GE or Free Electives
Soil Resource and Fertiliser Science
Soil Science Laboratory
Introduction to Natural Resources
Summer Internship
GE or Free Electives
Year 3
(Total 33 units)
Pest and Weed Management
Ecology
Ecology Laboratory
Major Electives
GE or Free Electives
Genetics
Bioresource and Agricultural Science Laboratory
Crop Production and Management
GE or Free Electives
Year 4
(Total 31 units)
Urban Agriculture and Horticulture
Final Year Project I
Biological Resources and Management
GE or Free Electives
Agribusiness: Marketing and Entrepreneurship
Farm and Bioresource Management for Urban Environment
Organic Certification Training
Major Electives
GE or Free Electives

§ Subject to University’s official approval

# 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
  • Plant Breeding and Propagation
  • Organic Chemistry
  • 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.