Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit will give students an introduction to the economics, management and finance of global food systems. Using case studies drawn from different commodities and countries it will analyse how food is supplied from farmers to final consumers.

The unit will use case studies to illustrate key economic, management and financial principles that under pin the food supply system. Each of the elements of the supply chain will be explored using a developed (Australia, US and Europe) and developing country case study.

1. Farm production and profitability – the farmer's perspective

2. Agribusiness and agricultural investment and risk – large scale developments and corporate farms

3. The supply chain – how is food delivered from farm to consumers – merchants and cooperatives

4. Food processing, product differentiation and value adding – the food industry

5. Retailing and market power – retailers and consumers

6. The role of government– agricultural policy, food safety, food and health, R&D

6 points
AvailabilityLocationModeFirst year of offer
Not available in 2018
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) apply concepts from first year economics to food markets; (2) analyse the determinants of supply and demand for staples such as wheat, rice and milk; (3) appreciate the role of branding and market power; (4) appreciate the difference between commercial and smallholder agriculture; and (5) be able to analyse agribusiness investments.


Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) student group seminars; (2) quiz; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Benedict White
Unit rules
ECON1101 Microeconomics: Prices and Markets, ACCT1101 Financial Accounting
Contact hours
Lectures 2 hours per week, Tutorial 1 hour per week
  • 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.