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Soil water processes in agroecosystems

Additional course evaluations for MV0216

Academic year 2020/2021

Soil water processes in agroecosystems (MV0216-10270) 2020-08-31 - 2020-11-01

Academic year 2019/2020

Soil water processes in agroecosystems (MV0216-10207) 2019-09-02 - 2019-10-31

Academic year 2018/2019

Soil water processes in agroecosystems (MV0216-10117) 2018-09-03 - 2018-11-05

MV0216 Soil water processes in agroecosystems, 15.0 Credits

Hydrologiska processer i mark-växtekosystem

Syllabus approved



Soil science Environmental science

Education cycle

Second cycle


Title Credits Code
Theory and calculation exercises  5.00 1002
Modelling exercises  5.00 1003
Mini-projects  5.00 1004

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to:
• 150 ECTS first-cycle courses, including
• 60 ECTS in a scientific subject such as Biology, Agricultural Science, Soil Science, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science or Technology,
• 10 ECTS Chemistry,
• 15 ECTS Soil Science, Earth Sciences or Biology
• a level of English equivalent to upper-seconday-school English (Engelska 6).


The overall objective of this course is to provide students with a deeper knowledge and understanding of the physical processes regulating water, energy and solute flows in the soil–plant–atmosphere system. A good understanding of these basic processes is critical for the development and implementation of soil and water management practices that promote sustainable agricultural production and environmental protection. The course places special emphasis on gaining an understanding of the temporal dynamics of these processes and the interactions between different components of the system through numerical modelling.

On completion of the course students will be able to:
• describe the interactions between the physical processes and the key factors that control flows and stores of energy, water and solutes in the soil–plant–atmosphere system,
• use and develop numerical models to simulate climate-driven flows of energy, water and solutes in different types of soil, linked to different types of vegetation,
• apply this knowledge to analyse and resolve practical problems concerning water management in relation to land use, crop production and environmental protection in a changing climate.


• Lectures and literature studies cover basic theories of storage and flow of energy, water and solutes in the soil–plant–atmosphere system as well as basic principles of numerical simulation models, and their application to the study of these processes.
• In-class calculation exercises (compulsory) involve the calculation of storages and flows of water and solutes in the soil–plant–atmosphere system.
• Computer exercises (compulsory) involve the construction and application of process-based models using simulation modelling software such as STELLA (or a similar). The simulations are carried out for time periods varying from a few hours to one year. The models are used as quantitative tools to aid understanding of the temporal dynamics of soil water flow (e.g. capillary rise, infiltration and percolation) and solute transport (e.g. leaching of pollutants) and interactions among different parts of the system (soil, plant and atmosphere).
• An Excel exercise on uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in numerical modelling.
• A mini-workshop that combines keynote presentations by researchers with student-teacher discussions of selected scientific publications dealing with the impacts of climate change on various aspects of agricultural production and the environment.
• Mini-projects (compulsory) give students ‘hands-on’ experience in applying the theories embodied in numerical models to solve practical problems related to soil and water resources in various agroecosystems and climates. These include, for example, analyses of irrigation management strategies in saline soil for optimal crop production in a semi-arid climate, and the likely effects of climate change on risks of pesticide leaching to groundwater in soils of contrasting properties. Students work in a group to plan and run model simulations and to analyse and discuss their results in the light of relevant published studies, in both a written report and an oral presentation. The students also give critical feedback on another group’s mini-project work.

Formats and requirements for examination

The following is required for a pass mark on the course:
• passed written or oral examination,
• active participation in, and approved reporting of, the exercises and project work (all of which are compulsory).
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Soil and Environment

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: MV0204
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Agriculture Programme - Soil/Plant EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science Soil, Water and Environment – Master´s Programme Agriculture Programme - Soil/Plant (270hec) Soil and Water Management - Master´s Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Second cycle
Subject: Soil science Environmental science
Course code: MV0216 Application code: SLU-10193 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Soil and Environment Pace: 100%