This course will focus on how decisions in land management and water resource management are informed by a fundamental understanding of the science of soils and plants driving the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles in terrestrial systems. Read more Read less

Food security, environmental protection and mitigation of climate change impacts depend upon effective management of soil, plant and water interactions in the environment.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1,400 Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the role of soil systems in the context of ecosystem services and soil functions
  • Explain the principal responses of plants to solar radiation, temperature, drought and aeration stress
  • Measure and quantify the key features of the soil physical environment (i.e. soil texture and structure, bulk density, porosity and volumetric and gravimetric water content)
  • Explain the transport of water through soil, plants and the atmosphere in terms of differences in water potential
  • Assess the role and contribution of soils in the cycling of nitrogen and carbon in the environment
  • Describe the main classes of organisms in soil and their functional importance in soil systems
  • Evaluate the impact of land management decisions on soil functions for agricultural production and environmental protection
  • Assess how soil properties change in the landscape and evaluate the implications of the spatial variability on soil functions.

Core content

  • Soil systems, soil functions and ecosystems goods and services
  • Soil plant environment and the hydrological cycle
  • Plant responses to solar radiation, temperature, drought and aeration stress
  • Water potential, flow and rates of movement and infiltration; water release characteristics
  • Physical properties: 3-phase soil model, bulk density, soil moisture content, porosity
  • Soil chemistry: pH, CEC, salinity and the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles
  • Soil biology: diversity, and functional importance
  • Soil diversity in the field and landscape
  • Agricultural soil management, diffuse pollution and soil erosion.


This course is provided via the Agrifood Training Partnership (AFTP) - and you should apply via the following link.

AFTP logo - aqua


20% discount for Cranfield alumni, 10% discount for colleagues of alumni
£1,340 - Professional/trade association discount
£1,280 - Multiple bookings*
* Minimum of 5 delegates

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road 
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.