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AGRI5503 Animal Production Systems

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit builds on knowledge and skills gained in AGRI4403 Animal Reproduction to increase the breadth and depth of students' understanding of the systems that control physiological processes in animals, and the ways we can modify these processes with modern science and technology to implement 'clean, green and ethical' management. The unit is based on three modules, each of which is introduced during a tutorial where students are briefed on the content of each module, on the level of understanding that is required, and on the method of assessment. This mode of teaching allows students flexibility and choice so they can best match their background, other components of their curriculum, and their research interests.

During the first module 'The interaction between reproduction on production: real-life problem', students visit a production system of their choice, interview the producers, identify a problem and search the literature and analyse the literature using special statistical tools. Students write a consultant report that describes the quantitative comparison of the impact of reproduction and production, and proposes solutions to improve both production, reproduction and animal wellbeing. The industry context, especially the social-economic context, needs to be considered in the final discussion.

During the second module 'New animal industries', students are assigned to a case study focused on a new industry. Students deliver a consultant report describing the new industry, its development in Australia, the advantages and limitations of the industry and propose recommendations to further develop a new industry of choice.

For the third module 'Impact of animal industries on the environment', students are asked to distill information available on the environmental impact of livestock production and to focus on the animal production/nutrition aspects of the livestock producer's enterprise in a written report.
Students are able to (1) gain a thorough understanding of the relationship between inputs and outputs in livestock production systems; (2) gain an appreciation of the potential importance of new industries in Australia; (3) understand the impact of livestock industry on the environment; (4) understand the role of consultancy to the livestock industries and the society; (5) evaluate scientific literature and writing in scientific papers using meta-analysis and field data meta-analysis; and (6) demonstrate self-management and independent learning skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral presentations (10 per cent); (2) consultancy reports (65 per cent); and (3) summary report (25 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Roberta Bencini (Placeholder)
Unit rules
Course Enrolment 72510 Master of Agricultural Science (ID 164)
Contact hours
Seminar 3 hours per week, Tutorial 2 hours per week and an over night field trip . The total workload for the unit is 150 hours.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.