FAQs and Course Fees

What are the entry requirements?
An Honours Degree or a Postgraduate Diploma or a professional qualification recognised by Crossfields Institute as being equivalent to a Lower Second Class Honours Degree. Other qualifications or experience that demonstrate that an applicant possesses appropriate knowledge and skills at Honours Degree standard may be acceptable.

If your first language is NOT English, you will be asked to show evidence of fluency in speaking, reading and writing English to the required level. A recommended method is to take a language test, ie.(https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/prepare-test/free-practice-tests). The minimum expected score for IELTS (https://www.ielts.org/) is 6.5 and 600 for TOEFL (https://www.ets.org/toefl/).

It is also possible to take the Crossfields Institute assessment for English language proficiency, please ask for details.

Please contact us if you are need to know about the equivalence of your qualification if it is not classified using the above terms (as used in the UK).

Who awards the degree?
This programme is developed and delivered in cooperation with the Alanus University Institute for Philosophy and Aesthetics in accordance with the UK FHEQ and FQ-EHEA.

Visit the Alanus homepage for more details.

What are the costs?
The course fee of £3,000 per year includes all tuition including attendance at the intensive blocks (there will be 1 one week intensive available each year for all course participants to join. See ‘Intensives’.). For individuals who choose to undertake the full Masters programme the overall cost is therefore £9000 (payable in instalments) with an expectation that the course will be completed in three years. The intensive blocks are not compulsory so the programme can be taken entirely by distance.  The only additional costs that can be anticipated are:
Travel and accommodation, food etc. at the intensives.  We will be recommending comfortable rather than luxury accommodation.
Do you offer bursaries?
You may be eligible for a bursary to offset the course fees, however you would need to apply for the course first and – pending acceptance on the course – apply for a bursary once you have received notification of acceptance. More information about bursaries can be found here.
Can I use a work-based problem or issue as the topic for my dissertation?
Yes, this would be absolutely fine, and a good way of engaging with the programme.  The only condition is that the problem or issue needs to address something to do with holistic food production, such as its theoretical, policy, economic, social, political, spiritual or practical production aspects.
Why is the course designed in this way – i.e. as a distance learning course with optional intensives?
The course is designed as a distance learning course because we want to create a close link between the learning on a theoretical level, on an applied level and in the situated context of where participants live, work and undertake their research. The strength of this model is that participants undertake a research process that deepens and broadens existing connections and activities, or forges new ones that are nonetheless embedded in the context of lived experience.
Intensives (attendance optional) create rich opportunities for participants on the course to meet, study, learn and socialise together in centres chosen for their connection to agroecology initiatives. These intensives also provide opportunities to work with course faculty, visiting researchers and practitioners from a range of backgrounds.
Students are supported by the course faculty throughout their studies and will have an academic supervisor assigned to them from the faculty. The core platform for the course – dissemination of materials, forums, etc. is the Crossfields Institute online learning platform – the VLE (see next section).
What are the minimum IT requirements to use the Crossfields Institute Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)?
A web browser capable of running Flash 10.3 or later. You can check the version of flash on the Adobe’s Flash Version Check page https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/find-version-flash-player.html. Whichever browser you use, make sure it is as up-to-date as possible. Here are the main browsers in order or how well they work with Moodle:
Firefox: very good.
Chrome: good.
Safari: not so good.
Internet Explorer: there are problems, particularly with IE 11.
As of Mac OS X 10.6, Apple stopped updating Flash. If a Mac user is running an out-of-date version of Flash (if you are using the virtual classroom BigBlueButton, this will check the version of flash), you can upgrade the version by downloading it from Adobe https://www.adobe.com/.
Internet Connection Speed: minimum of 4mb download and 0.5 Mbits upload speed. Users can test their actual bandwidth using https://www.speedtest.net/.
Note: For users of the virtual classroom BigBlueButton, bandwidth will affect how smoothly BigBlueButton runs, so the higher the bandwidth the better.
Hardware recommendation: a Dual-core CPU with at least 2G of memory. For Mac, we recommend any Mac running Mac OS X operating system.
Will I have to write a lot of essays?
There are written assignments associated with each of the modules, some of which are essays.  The assignments are designed to help you develop useful skills, such as: communicating the value of organically produced food to customers, or developing a network to support future research.  You will also be able to present some work in a choice of formats, such as posters, video, and presentations.
Do I need access to land for food production and to conduct research trials?
No you don’t.  We anticipate that some of our participants will have access to a farm, market garden, or forest garden but this is not essential, it all depends what type of research you decide to undertake.  You will be expected to visit agroecological initiatives, and these can be in urban environments or more rural settings. The course team will help you to identify places to visit local to you if you are having difficulty with this.

If you have any further questions please get in touch.