Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit examines the role of agriculture in economic development, mainly in developing countries but with relevance to developed countries. Students learn how to apply economic theory and analytical tools to address agricultural development challenges faced by governments, and agents operating in the food and non-food sectors. Thematic areas covered include the economics of farm households, market failure and role of government in markets, food and nutrition security, agricultural productivity growth, technology adoption and impact evaluation, rural land reforms, climate change, and water crisis, agriculture and natural resource conservation, and policy instruments in international trade. A variety of topical questions are addressed, potentially including: what caused the global food crisis? How can we evaluate the appropriateness of government policies, such as fertilizer subsidies? What is the impact of water scarcity on global food security in an era of climate change? Why is land reform a thorny issue in developing countries? Are there opportunities to increase the efficiency of resource-poor producers? What are the effects of international trade and globalization on poor economies? What strategies and policies are needed to promote agricultural development? The unit is issue and problem solving oriented; it requires critical thinking and active participation. Policy implications of the topics are explored are discussed throughout the unit. Students debate and discuss contemporary issues in development, write policy briefs, and estimate empirical models relevant for formulating evidence-based policies.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled

Students are able to (1) discuss, explain and review evolving themes and theories in agricultural development; (2) understand and appreciate the role of economic theory and policy in addressing challenges in agricultural development; (3) develop aboard overview of challenges in agricultural development both in the farm and nonfarm sector; (4) articulate the important characteristics of agriculture and its role in economic development; and (5) develop the capacity to apply analytical tools in economics to address policy challenges in agricultural development.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) examination; (2) policy briefs; and (3) assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Amin Mugera
Unit rules
Enrolment in
72510 Master of Agricultural Science
or 71550 Master of International Development
or 71570 Master of Geographic Information Science
or 73530 Master of Agricultural Economics
Contact hours
lectures: 4 hours per fortnight
tutorials: 2 hours per fortnight for 10 weeks
  • 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.