• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Environmental Studies More...
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Charles Massy
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Winter Session 2015
    See Future Offerings

Biennial course. Offered in 2015.  Not offered in 2016.

The course focuses on the sustainability of the human food systems. Agricultural systems in Australia and internationally will be examined from a complex systems perspective at local, national and global scales, covering production, transport, storage, manufacturing and use of food and fibre. An interdisciplinary approach will provide historical, geographical, social and political perspectives on agriculture in Australia. Key concepts in agricultural management and development will be introduced and discussed including rural livelihoods, agro-ecology, sustainability, food security, adaptation, conservation agriculture, value chains and innovation systems. In addition to social and economic systems, biophysical and production systems will be studied, including fertility management and nutrient cycling, pest and disease control, input replacement and system redesign, genetic engineering and energy inputs and outputs.  Production issues will be integrated into the broader social, cultural and economic contexts of family farming and agri-business, consumer demand and marketing, international trade and rural policy.  Examples will be drawn from Australia, and a range of other countries including Indonesia, Syria, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India. The course will include fieldwork with farm and food industry enterprises designed to give students first hand experience of issues and topics raised in lectures.  Attendance on field trips is a course requirement.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:


  1. apply key concepts in Human Ecology to rural systems, and communicate these to a range of audiences in effective written and oral form
  2. understand and explain key rural systems concepts and perspectives
  3. critically examine complex rural systems using a range of frameworks and tools
  4. describe constraints and opportunities for future sustainable non-urban living.
  5. To be able to engage in both a theoretical and practical approach to regional, national and global world policy settings.

Indicative Assessment

  • Presentation (20-25%) (LO 1, 2, 3, 5)
  • practical report (20-25%) (LO 1, 2, 3, 5)
  • major field research report (40-50%) (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

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65 contact hours contact comprising lectures, practicals and fieldwork in a semi-intensive mode over 9 weeks of second semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed SRES6012 or ENVS6001 or ENVS2022.

Areas of Interest

  • Geography
  • Human Ecology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability
  • Resource Management and Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Policy Studies



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1665 13 Jul 2015 13 Jul 2015 31 Jul 2015 18 Sep 2015 In Person N/A

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