• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Environmental Science , Sustainability Science

The sustainability of human food systems is examined in this course from a complex systems perspective, focusing on agricultural systems in Australia and internationally at local, national and global scales. Historical, social and political perspectives on farming systems and soil management techniques in agriculture form part of an interdisciplinary approach to food sustainability that brings together the socio-political reality of agricultural management and development with the ecological functioning of healthy landscapes. You will explore topics including rural livelihoods, sustainability, food security, adaptation, conservation agriculture, ecological processes involving soils, crop plants and livestock, and the design and implementation of improved farming systems. A range of land management issues are addressed, including soil conservation, restoration and rehabilitation; alternative farming and grazing systems; and sustainable intensification strategies. Production issues are 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 are drawn from Australia and a range of other countries that may include Indonesia, the Philippines, Syria, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India.


The course includes field visits to farm and food industry enterprises designed to provide first-hand experience and application of your learning; attendance on field trips is a course requirement.

 

In the second half of the course you will choose one of two concurrent workshop streams, focusing either on socio-cultural or on biophysical aspects of sustainable agricultural systems. These streams lead respectively to human ecology and environmental studies, or to natural resource management and environmental science. Both streams have practical components that develop skills and reinforce understanding, and a systems framework ensures that links are drawn between the two streams.


This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply key concepts in human ecology and natural resource management to agricultural farming systems, and communicate planned outcomes to a range of audiences in effective written and oral form.
  2. Understand and explain key agricultural systems concepts and perspectives at regional, national and global scales.
  3. Critically examine complex agricultural systems using a range of frameworks and tools.
  4. Collect, analyse, interpret and present land and soil resource data (including remotely sensed data and published literature) from a range of scales in the landscape to produce land use and land management suitability scenarios.
  5. Identify and argue constraints and opportunities for future sustainable agricultural systems.

Other Information

If you do not meet the requisites for this course, it may be possible to receive a permission code. If you are prompted for a permission code on ISIS, please request one online via the following form

Indicative Assessment

  1. Oral presentation (15) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  2. Field report: critical examination of one component from field visits, 1500 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  3. Opinion piece: the opportunities of future agricultural systems, 700 words, various formats (15) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  4. Major field research report: integrate and synthesise learning, 4000 words (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 2 x 1 hour lecture plus 1 x 2 hour tutorial per week.
  • Approximately 82 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.


Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have successfully completed ENVS6012 or ENVS6302 or ENVS2023

Prescribed Texts

Dyball, R and Newell, B (2015) Understanding Human Ecology. Routledge
McKenzie, N et al. (2004) Australian Soils and Landscapes. CSIRO Publishing

Preliminary Reading

Charman, PV and Murphy, BW (eds) (2000) Soils: Their Properties & Management (2nd edition), Oxford University Press, Melbourne
Jordan, CF (1998) Working with Nature, Harwood Academic Publishers

Assumed Knowledge

ENVS6020 Human Ecology and/or ENVS6218 Environmental Science Field School are strongly recommended.

Specialisations

Fees

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:
2
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6793 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 31 Aug 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions