AGRI5504 Organic Agriculture

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Content
This unit involves an analysis of the principles of organic agriculture using an integrated approach that includes consideration of plant, soil, animal, economic, marketing and social issues. Students work in groups using a problem-based learning approach. They are encouraged to critically analyse research on organic farming practices and to synthesise information that is applicable in local, national and international contexts. Industry issues relevant to the establishment and functioning of organic farming systems are considered. This enhances practical and theoretical analysis and problem solving skills. Supporting lectures cover the principles of organic farming, nutrient and energy flows in organic farming systems, the use of animals and crops, economic and environmental assessment and consumer issues. Students gain an understanding of (1) the principles of organic agriculture; and (2) the capacity to interpret scientific, economic and social information relevant to organic agriculture practices. Emphasis is on investigating links and interpreting information in a multidisciplinary context. Students can work in areas of their existing expertise or select topics from new areas. Collaboration and critical analysis is essential. Local, national and international data are evaluated. Current national and international trends and debates are monitored.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) critically evaluate the principles of organic farming practices; (2) critically review scientific literature and experimental data related to organic agriculture; (3) interpret economic analyses of organic farming practices; (4) interpret policies related to organic agriculture; (5) integrate information from multidisciplinary sources related to organic agriculture; and (6) work within a group in a problem-based learning environment on a topic(s) relevant to industry.
Assessment
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) planning, writing and presenting a literature review and research proposal (20 per cent); (2) a written consultant's report (40 per cent); and (3) a take-home examination on critical analysis of literature and data related to organic agriculture (40 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Emeritus Professor Lyn Abbott
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
enrolment in the Master of Agricultural Science (72510)
or
the Master of Science (70630)
or
the Master of Geographic Information Science (71570)
or
the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
Incompatibility:
SCIE3303 Organic Agriculture and Horticulture, SCIE8303 Organic Agriculture and Horticulture
Contact hours
total workload: 150 hours; contact hours: three 2-day blocks
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