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Agriculture at Newcastle: our heritage

Calling all alumni!

Are you a member of the Newcastle University Agricultural Society (UNAS), or a graduate of the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Agriculture, Food & Rural Development or of any of the former Departments of Agriculture/ Agricultural Economics/ Agricultural Biochemistry? 

Did you know you can join the Library as an alumni? Please explore this guide which captures the people and research, past and present, who have helped to create and expand the department since its inception. If you have any suggestions for additions, please get in touch

125 Years of Agriculture

2016 was a significant year for the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development as we celebrated125 years of ground breaking agricultural research and teaching at Newcastle.

Watercolour of the new Armstrong Building, Armstrong College presented to Clement Stephenson on the occasion of the foundation stone ceremony 5th April, 1915.

On the 125th anniversary of agriculture at Newcastle many parallels in the challenges faced by UK farmers then and now were noted: a difficult trading environment, a need for improved productivity and the endless need for change and innovation.

The original Department was founded on its links with the industry and, just like our academic forebears, we continue the tradition of conducting research that makes a difference and the tradition of training the next generation of farming practitioners. The one difference is that our current approach to training and research extends beyond farming to include agribusiness, the food supply chain and healthy diets, and links with rural enterprise. With that integrated vision in mind, we look forward to another 125 years of delivering innovation and new skills to the sector.

Image: Watercolour of the new Armstrong Building, Armstrong College presented to Clement Stephenson on the occasion of the foundation stone ceremony 5th April, 1915. 

The School of Agriculture

The School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development promotes excellence in research and teaching in the natural and social sciences relating to food, agriculture, rural environments, the countryside, and the rural economy. In addition to promoting research excellence and teaching, the School is showing its commitment to advancing women's careers in science academia by achieving the Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

Our cutting edge research extends across the spectrum of food science and human health, agricultural science and management, soil and environmental science, rural economy and society, food and product marketing. The School brings together 60 academic staff across a wide range of disciplines within the natural and social sciences.

The School houses internationally renowned research groups including the Centre for Rural Economy and Nafferton Ecological Farming Group.

We offer high quality undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as well as higher degrees by research across the whole spectrum of subjects. Our aims are simple:

  • to inspire our students
  • to create an exciting yet supportive environment in which to study
  • to ensure the quality of our teaching and learning provision

The School's main teaching and laboratory facilities are located on the city centre campus of Newcastle University in the Agriculture Building. Additional off-campus facilities on two University farms at Cockle Park and Nafferton are used for research, teaching and demonstration purposes.