M.Sc. & Ph.D in Soil Science


Theprogramme of Agronomy shall offer the M. Sc. And Ph.D. degree in soil science. The research projects may be selected from one of the following major areas:-


  • Soil Fertility
  • Soil and Water Management
  • Soil Physics
  • Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy
  • Soil Genesis, Classification and Survey
  • Soil Microbiology
  • Agricultural Meteorology


Course Code Title Credit units
SOS 700 M. Sc. Thesis Research 4
SOS 800 Ph.D. Thesis Research 6
SOS 701 Seminar 2
SOS 702 Soil Genesis and Classification 3
SOS 703 Soil Survey 3
SOS 704 Soil and Land Use Planning 3
SOS 705 Intermediate Soil Physics 3
ASS 706/ACP706 Advanced Crop Ecology and climatology 3
SOS 707 Soil Physical Measurement 2
SOS 710/ACP710 Research Methodology 2
SOS 711 Management of Tropical and Forestry Soils 3
SOS 712 Management of Irrigated Soil 3
SOS 713 Soil Mineralogy 3
SOS 714 Agricultural Chemicals in soils 3
SOS 715 Soil and Water Management 3
SOS 716/ACP716 Mineral Nutrition of Crops 2
SOS 717/ACP 717 Soil Microbiology 3
SOS 718/ACP 718 Soil Water Plant Relations 3
SOS 619/ACP 719 Soil and plant Analysis 3
SOS 720 Advance in Fertilizer Technology 2
SOS 721 Advances Soil Physics 3
SOS 722 Advanced Soil Chemistry 2
SOS 723 Advanced Soil Fertility 3



Mandatory Courses

The following credit hours must be taken by every postgraduate student registered for M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree in soil science at the appropriate level.



Course Code






Credit units

SOS 700 M. Sc. Thesis Research 4
SOS 800 Ph.D. Thesis Research 6
SOS 701 Seminar 2-3
AGY 700 Statistical Methods 3
AGY 701 Experimental Design 3

In addition to the above, the following core courses should be taken for M. Sc. Or Ph.D. in soil Science as appropriate.

SOS 602 Soil Genesis and Classification 3
SOS 606/ACP606 Advanced Crop Ecology and Climatology 3
SOS 610/AGY710 Research Methodology 2
SOS 619/ACP 619 Soil and Plant Analysis 3
ASS 621 Advances Soil Physics 3
ASS 622 Advanced Soil Chemistry 2
ASS 623 Advanced Soil Fertility 3



ASS 600/700 M.Sc./PhD. Thesis Research 20/60 Credits:

Each candidate shall normally be required to carry out research work in the area of interest and relevance to the problems of soil in Nigeria.


SOS 601          M. Sc./PhD. Seminar 2Credits:

Each candidate shall normally be required to deliver at least two seminars for the M.Sc. degree and at least four seminars for the Ph.D. degree at any convenient time during the period of study. As much as possible one of the seminar should be related to the candidate’s general area of study and the other based on the candidate’s thesis research work.


AGY 700 Statistical Methods (3 credit)

Refer to Animal production Programme courses contents


AGY 701 Experimental Design (3 credits)

Refer to animal Production Programme course contents


SOS 702          Soil Genesis and Classification (3 credits)

Geologic weathering as a prelude to soil formation in the inter-tropical regions of Africa: Soil developments in various bioclimatic regions; criteria for characterizing and evaluating soil development; Influence of geomorphology on soil evaluation with particular reference to Nigeria; Studies of soils of Africa and the World; Fabric and mineral analysis of soils; soil characterization procedures; soil forming factors and soil forming processes; classification; soil survey and mapping.


SOS 703          Soil Survey (3 credits)

Principles of soil survey; conventional soil survey methods; soil survey methods involving photo-interpretation; principles of remote sensing techniques in soil survey; soil resource inventories derived from soil survey; soil survey interpretation; field and practical projects.


SOS 704          Soil and Land Use Planning (3 Credits)

Concept of land use planning; purpose and justification for land use planning; policies and implementation of land use planning; soils and general agricultural planning and management; soils and forestry planning; soils and planning and management of non-agricultural projects (engineering projects, urban planning; reclamation, etc). One special project for each student.


SOS 705          Intermediate Soil Physics (3 Credits)

Review of physical composition of the soil; the state of water in soil; soil suction; moisture retention curves; availability of soil water; retention of swelling soils; soil water potential gradients; water flow in saturated and unsaturated soil; Darcy’s law; hydraulic conductivity of soils; infiltration; principles of field drainage; water vapour transfer in soil; solute movement in soil; composition of soil air; gas transfer in soil by mass flow and diffusion; Dick’s law; soil aeration, thermal properties of soils; heat transfer in soil, soil temperature profiles.


SOS 706/ACP 706 Advanced Crop Ecology and Climatology (3 credits)

Crop and its interaction with environment; ecological classification of crop plants; the tropical environment; spatial and seasonal variation in temperature; day length, radiation, rainfall and potential evapotranspiration using example from Nigeria; the adaptation and distribution of crops to different climatic regions; temperature limits; rainfall and day length requirements; plant population dynamics and its application to crops; plant competition including models application to sole crops and mixed crops. Meteorological factors affecting crop plants. Microclimatic influence on plant growth.


SOS 707          Soil Physical Measurement (2 credits)

Principles and methods of commonly made laboratory measurements; field measurement of soil bulk density; porosity, water content and metric potential; measurement of field capacity and permanent wilting point; moisture characteristics curves for different soil types; measurement of hydraulic conductivity; infiltration rate of advance of wetting front; soil temperature measurement. A project required.


SOS 708          Intermediate Soil Chemistry (3 credits)

Differences between organic and inorganic colloids; soil solid solution phase interaction; the surface charge of the solid phase; the stern theories.


SOS 709/ACP 709 Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Use (3 credits)

Application of the principles of soil science to plant nutrition; forms of essential elements in soils; their reactions in soils and roles in crop nutrition; nutrient deficiency and availability in soils; soil tests; calibration and fertilizer application. Crop response to fertilizer use; types of response functions; optimum rate for maximum economics yield, crop response to fertilizers over different ecological areas of Nigeria, fertilizers: their application, sources, methods, rates and timings, liming and its objectives, organic matter and green manuring.


SOS 710/ACP 710 Research Methodology (2 credits)

Research procedure; sampling techniques, questionnaire designs and interviews; data collection, computer programming, data analysis and interpretation; manuscript writing, graphics and presentation of results; efficient library usage and (personal) literature retrieval.


SOS 711          Management of Tropic and Forest Soils (3 credits)

Introducing the distinguishing pedological; chemical and physical characteristics of tropical and forest soils; general principles of management of tropical and forest soils; clay mineralogy and ion exchange properties; soil organic matter and nitrogen; phosphorus, sulphur, and cations (Mg, Ca, K) fertility and bush fallowing; cropping systems and agro forestry in relation to soil fertility and productivity; maintenance of fertility and nutrient balance; factors affecting the choice of tillage practice in the tropics, impact of intensive tillage on different soil types, agro-forestry and soil erosion; soil problems in irrigation schemes; soil moisture conservation and management; soil acidity and liming crop responses to acidity and liming.


SOS 712          Management of Irrigation Soils (3 credits)

Selection of land for irrigation; basic principles and physical factors; selection of irrigation system; soil determinants of irrigation needs; quality of irrigation water: water and salt balance; irrigation with saline water; effect of irrigation and drainage on soils; land preparation; problems associated with irrigation; management of problematic soil under irrigation.


SOS 713          Soil Mineralogy (3 Credits)

Atomic models of mineral crystals and organic molecules: dispersion of soil minerals; fractionation of soil minerals; X-ray diffraction analysis of soil minerals; differential thermal analysis thermogravimetric analysis; integral thermal analysis electron microscopy; infrared spectroscopy; chemical methods of determining soil minerals; spectrographic study of soil fabric and soil minerals.


SOS 714          Agricultural Chemicals in Soil (3 Credits)

Major groups of pesticides; processes affecting pesticides in soil including sorption, degradation and elimination, transport of pesticides in soil and uptake by plants; pesticide persistence; effects on soil organisms and crop damage; techniques involving analysis of pesticides residue in soil.


SOS 715          Soil and Water Management (3 Credits)

Soil and water conversation. Soil erosion and its control; water control and conservation; soil organic matter and it maintainer; cropping systems and residue management; cultivation methods and their effects on the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the soils; soil aeration and drainage; irrigation, drainage and salinity control; farm visits and a written report.


SOS 716/ACP716 Mineral Nutrition of Crops (3 Credits)

General aspects of mineral nutrition of crops; media of plant nutrition-hydroponics and nutrient solutions; the inorganic components of plants; elemental cycling with emphasis on C, N and P; nutrient deficiency symptoms identification and correction; deficiencies and tissue analysis; transport phenomena in plants; spontaneous and nonspontaneous transport processes (mass flow, diffusion and root interception) pathways of solute and water entry into plant cells; the energy cells and tissues; mechanisms of passive and active transport; the cell membrane structure and permeability; carriers mechanism of phloem transport; aspects of bioenergetics photosynthesis, respiration, metabolic coupling of active transport.


SOS 717/ACP 717 Soil Microbiology (2 Credits)

Study of soil micro-organisms; functions; forms and environmental organic matter decomposition and the carbon cycle; organic nitrogen transformation (P.S, Fe etc), laboratory exercises; advances in nitrogen fixation – the biology and biochemistry of nitrogen fixation with special reference to tropical ecosystems.


SOS 718/ACP 718 Water –Plant Relations (3 Credits)

Review of physics of soil water, water uptake by plant; water movement through the plant; water loss from the leaves; water stress and plant growth; soil water availability to plants; soil temperature and plant growth; soil aeration and plant growth; roots and root growth; nutrient transfer in the soil-plant system; root development; distribution and density.


SOS 719/ACP 719 Plant and Soil Analysis (2 Credits)

Sample collection and preparation; determination of soil pH; estimation of soluble and exchangeable ions; determination of exchangeable acidity and cation-exchange capacity; estimation of total N,P,K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, Bo, and Mn, use of soil and plant analysis in soil fertility evaluation. (Note: this is a purely laboratory course).


SOS 720 Advance in Fertilizer Technology (2 Credits)

A study of the current processes involved in the formulation and manufacture of chemical fertilizers; chemical and physical properties of various fertilizer materials; compound and straight fertilizers and their use; evaluation of fertilizers for their nutrient value; fertilizer analysis and quality control; field trips to fertilizer factories.


SOS 721          Advanced Soil Physics (3 Credits)

Mathematical treatment of water entry and distribution in uniform and layered soil profiles; design of field drainage systems; mathematical treatment of heat flow in soil; mathematical treatment of solute transport in soil; analysis of breakthrough curves; hyderodynamic dispersion; leaching losses’ soil physical factors affecting crop root development models of water and solute uptake by individual roots and entire root system; numerical methods for solving flow problems in soil physics; research techniques and instrumentation.


SOS 722          Advanced Soil Chemistry (2 Credits)

Application of physical chemistry to soil; chemical equilibrium cation and onion absorption by soil; common solubility equilibria in soils; kinetics of nutrient release in soils; transport and accumulation of soluble soil components.


ASS 723          Advanced Soil Fertility (3 Credits)

Discussion of ion exchange; organic matter transformations; nutrient mobility in relation to crop growth and crop nutrient composition; soil and fertilizer nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium; sulphur and micronutrients in soils and fertilizers; soil fertility evaluation; cropping systems and soil management; liming, with special emphasis on tropical soils; economics of lime and fertilizer application, attacking soil fertility problems.