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FUNDED MRes - An evaluation of the impact of the Farms for City Children programme on participants’ agricultural awareness and overall wellbeing.

Agriculture & Environment

Location:  Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB
Salary:  As per advert
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Monday 11 July 2022
Interview Date:  To be confirmed
Reference:  MRES-CT1-WCB-R


Farms for City Children (FfCC) was founded in 1976 by Sir Michael and Lady Clare Morpurgo, who identified the need for children and young people from urban areas to be supported in accessing the countryside and the natural world. Since then, they have welcomed over 100,000 children to one of their three farms. FfCC are keen to examine their activities to establish what difference a week-long visit to a farm makes to a child, and what impact this has on the child’s wellbeing and wider understanding of agriculture and the natural environment. FfCC reports undeniable anecdotal evidence of an invaluable influence on participants from their work. However, an evidence-based approach will support FfCC in maximising their impact and effectiveness, as well as enhancing wider understanding of the benefits of agricultural outreach activities with children.

Project Objectives

The key project objectives are to:

  • Investigate the impact of FfCC’s outreach activities, with a focus on 
    • Childhood wellbeing (as defined by a recognised index or scale);
    • Childhood connections to the wider environment;
    • Children’s understanding of how agriculture is relevant to, and affects, them; and
    • Children’s understanding of the farm to fork journey.
  • Critically evaluate how the work of FfCC, and other opportunities to access nature, outdoor spaces and agriculture, might support development in relation to childhood wellbeing, connections, and children’s understanding of agriculture.

The outputs from such research should inform stakeholders within the sector about the impact of the work of FfCC on children.

A further objective is that this MRes scholarship supports the development of a researcher focused on the impact of agricultural education and outreach.  As part of the MRes programme additional support will be provided through 4 selected taught modules that introduce and develop essential core skills within the student. Through this project the student will receive training and support as required in research and information skills, advanced research methods, sustainable farming systems and child development/education. The student will develop skills suited to working as an academic researcher or a public sector/industry researcher, or to a range of roles related to agricultural education and outreach. 

The MRes (Agricultural Education) Studentship Tuition Scholarship is supported by the Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB). 

Please see below for further details and requirements.

Starting dates

The studentship would commence on 20th September 2022 at Harper Adams University, Edgmond, Shropshire, United Kingdom.


Applications should be made through the Harper Adams University website:

The deadline for uploading completed applications is 5 pm UK time on Monday, 11 July 2022. 

Further information on Harper Adams University can be found at and on the research training provided and MRes requirements at: 

For informal enquiries on the project, or questions relating to FfCC, applicants may contact Claire Toogood through the staff directory: 

Only Home residents (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man & Channel Isles residents) may apply for the WCB Studentship, which covers operational funds and all tuition fees. 

Further details:    Further Information    
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Harper Adams University is one of the premier UK Higher Education institutions focused on the land-based and food supply chain sector. With around 2,800 undergraduate students, plus those completing postgraduate, research and CPD programmes, Harper Adams University is the UK's largest single provider of higher education for these subjects.  Programmes fall into eleven broad subject areas – but none operate in isolation. Community and collaboration are key at Harper Adams, meaning everyone, including staff, students and industry partners, benefits from a close network of knowledge and opportunity exchange. Situated in Shropshire, the campus and the surrounding area provide an excellent working and living environment for staff and students alike.

Harper Adams is consistently positioned highly in a range of national ratings, performance measures and league tables. The University has been the highest performing modern university in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for the last four years, climbing to 17th place in the overall league table. In the 2020 guide Harper Adams was named Modern University of the Year and runner-up University of the Year. In the 2019 Whatuni? Student Choice Awards, based on student reviews, Harper Adams won the Student Support category for the fifth time – the only university to have taken the title since the awards began - and won the category for best job prospects for a fourth year running. In the 2020 QS World Rankings for Agriculture and Forestry published in March 2020, Harper Adams was ranked first in the UK for academic reputation and second in the world for its reputation with employers.

Applied research is at the heart of the university’s activity, with the work of a thriving academic community underpinning both teaching and work with the industries allied to Harper. The 2014 Government Research Excellence Framework rated all of the university’s research as “of international quality”, and more than half was deemed “world leading” or “internationally excellent”.



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