Masters Programmes

Introduction

The increased demand for food and other agricultural products due to the rapid population growth has created considerable pressure on both available arable land and on the few agricultural scientists available and involved in the development of improved technological packages for crop improvement and production. Consequently, there has to be an increased obligation on institutions of higher learning to produce more high level manpower for the agricultural sector.

Due to rapid demographic rises characterized by increased population density sometimes exceeding 2000 people/km2 in most highly populated areas, the option of increasing food and fibre in these areas is limited. Alternative cultivable lands left are arid to semi-arid lands (ASALS), which comprise 80% of the land area. Therefore there is a need to train more agricultural scientists involved in the future development of sustainable production technologies for ASAL.

The M.Sc. programme offered by the Department of Crop, Horticulture and Soils has been tailored to meet this demand for highly trained manpower in the following fields of specialisation that may be selected as options.

a) Crop Production
b) Plant Breeding
c) Crop Protection
d) Dry-land Farming

Objectives

The programme is designed to provide an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of the subject matter and also impart research skills in the specified fields of study. Upon successful completion of the training, the graduates would be expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to enhance agricultural production in Kenya and elsewhere, through self-employment, research, formal teaching, extension and management.

Entry Requirements

The common university rules and regulations for the Master's degree programmes specified in the Egerton University Statutes will be applicable. Admission shall be offered to holders of a first degree in General Agriculture or related disciplines, with an upper second class honours and above or equivalent qualification from recognised institutions. In exceptional cases, the senate may also admit to the masters programme, non-holders of upper second class honours degrees, provided such candidates can, on the basis of research and academic work they have one show that they are well qualified to undertake post graduate work by passing qualifying examinations. Candidates who meet the minimum entry requirements specified may be required to appear for an oral interview by the department concerned to determine their suitability for registration.

Course Schedule

Master of Science with Thesis

The programme will consist of course work, examination and thesis. Candidates are required to successfully complete at least 30 credit factors of their course work and in addition successfully complete 15 credit factors of a thesis to qualify for the award of the Masters degree.

Candidates for Masters degree with thesis shall be registered as full time students for a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of thirty six (36) months, and register for a minimum of nine (9) credit factors per semester. Candidates for the Masters degree with thesis shall be registered as part time students for a maximum of forty eight (48) months out of which twelve (12) months must be in residence. The candidates must register for a minimum of six (6) credit factors per semester.

Master of Science with Project

The programme will consist of course work, examination and project. Candidates are required to successfully complete at least 40 credit factors of their course work and in addition successfully complete 5 credit factors of a project to qualify for the award of the Masters degree.

Candidates for Masters degree without thesis shall be registered as full time students for a minimum of (nine) 9 months and a maximum of eighteen (18) months and register for a minimum of twelve (12) credit factors per semester. Candidates for the Master degree with project shall be registered as part time students for a maximum of 36 months out of which nine (9) months must be in residence. The candidates must register for a minimum of five (5) credit factors per semester.
NOTE: Only holders of Masters Degree with thesis may proceed to a Ph.D programme.

Examinations

Courses registered for in each semester shall be examined at the end of the semester Course work assessment shall consist of:

  • End of semester written examinations which shall constitute 60% of the total marks for each subject.
  • Continuous assessment based on assignments, practical and such other tests as the regulations of the Department may prescribe constitute 40% of the total marks.
  • Courses which are purely of practical nature and/or seminars shall be assessed entirely by continuous assessment.

Marks obtained in examinations shall be converted into letter grades as follows:

  • A - 70% and above Very good
  • B - 60% to 69% Good
  • C - 50% to 59% Average
  • F - 49% and below Fail
  • I - Incomplete
  • K - Course in progress
  • CT - Credit transfer
  • AU - Audit
  • P - Pass

The passing grade shall be C in all required courses attempted by a candidate. However, the candidate must obtain a B average to be eligible for the award of the degree of MSc in Soil Science.

Submission and Examination of Thesis or Projects

Candidate will be expected to satisfy the Board of Examiners with regard to the thesis or project as stipulated in the University Rules and Regulations.

Course Coding

YEAR ONE - COMPULS ORY COURSES
CODE TITLE
SOIL730 Soil Genesis and Classification
SOIL732 Soil Physics
SOIL734 Soil Chemistry
SOIL736 Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
SOIL738 Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry
SOIL740 Soil and Plant Analysis
SOIL741 Seminars
MATH700 Design and Analysis of Agricultural Experiments
COMP701 Computer Science
TOTAL
OPTIONAL COURSES
(Candidates must take a t least 4.0 C.F.)
SOIL731 Soil Survey and Land Evaluation
SOIL733 Soil-Plant Relations
SOIL735 Waste Management in Soils
SOIL737 Soil Productivity Management
SOIL739 Forest Soils
SOIL742 Independent Study
AGRO711 Crop Physiology
AGRO750 Annual Crop Management
AGRO751 Perennial Crop Management
AGRO752 Pastures and Fodder Crops
BCHM714 Plant Biochemistry

YEAR TWO
SOIL 799 Thesis

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Faculty of Agricuture, P.O. Box 536, Egerton.

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