• Class Number 4623
  • Term Code 3150
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Rachael Rodney Harris
    • Dr Craig Strong
    • Dr James Latimer
    • Martin Amidy
    • Michael Wellington
    • Dr Rachael Rodney Harris
    • Dr Steven Crimp
    • Vivienne Wells
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/06/2021
  • Class End Date 02/08/2021
  • Census Date 02/07/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 22/06/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course will provide students with broad underpinning knowledge of practices and systems of the Australian agricultural sector. This course is intended to provide breadth of systems knowledge to allow students of a range of knowledge domains to come together and apply their knowledge in an agricultural context. It will focus on the interface between domain knowledge relevant to the modern agricultural system.  Students will gain an understanding of the complex ecological and biophysical processes and interactions between climate, soils, crop plants, livestock, and management systems. A range of land management issues are examined, with students developing the skills to design and implement improved farming systems to address these issues in the context of barriers to adoption, and key enablers of practice change.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply an understanding of key concepts to the modern agricultural system.
  2. Integrate knowledge of production systems to view Australian agrifood as a system.
  3. Critically review literature and 'real life' examples of agricultural production in context as a system.
  4. Effectively interpret and critique agricultural data using standard analytical and communication techniques, and communicate key information about agri systems to a range of audiences.
  5. Apply holistic thinking on course topics, in the context of real-world challenges.

Research-Led Teaching

This course will use current research articles/projects to introduce students to interesting topics and problems in the field of agriculture. The lecturers and tutors of this course are academic researchers or industry professionals.

Field Trips

This course will be taught intensively and involve multiple field trips to farms and properties in the ACT and surrounding region. In 2021 there will be no overnight field trips. Students will be transported to/from field trips in university vehicles.

Additional Course Costs

Some optional experiences may have small additional costs payable by the student.

Examination Material or equipment

It is recommended students bring a non-programmable calculator for quiz assessment tasks.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This course is taught as a two-week intensive and will include a range of lecture, workshop, practical and field trip activities.

Tutorial Registration


Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Quiz 20 % * 1,2
Practical Exercises 20 % 19/07/2021 1,2,3
Stakeholder Communications Exercise 20 % * 2,3,4
Field Trip Engagement and Report 40 % 22/07/2021 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


There is no exam for this subject.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2


This assessment item will involve two online quizzes, one on each of 25 June and 2 July. The quizzes are designed to prompt students to revise the material covered in the course and will cover topic knowledge and basic scientific skills. Marks from both quizzes count towards the total quiz mark; each individual quiz is worth 10% of the overall mark for the course (total 20%). Quizzes will be administered through Wattle, will be available only during the allocated quiz time and cannot can be taken after it has closed. Therefore, failure to complete any of the quizzes within the allotted time, without prior permission from the convenor, will result in a zero grade for that quiz. Each quiz allows only one attempt. The format is open-book, so students may make use of course materials and textbooks while taking any quiz. Calculators are also permitted. Students must complete each quiz as individual work.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 19/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Practical Exercises

This assessment task involves writing a scientific report of one of the experiments/workshops experienced during the course. It contributes 20% of the total course mark. The primary aim of this assessment task is for students to demonstrate understanding of the scientific method, skills in interpretation of findings in a practical context and ability to communicate appropriately to a scientific audience. More details about the requirements of a scientific report will be provided on the course Wattle site. Students must complete this task as individual work.


Due Date: Monday 19 July 2021 (11pm)

Submission:. The practical exercise assessment task should be submitted via Turnitin using the link on the course Wattle site.

Word limit: 2000 words plus references, tables/figures and appendices

Value: 20%

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4

Stakeholder Communications Exercise

In this assessment item students will work in groups to research and present on a topical issue facing Australian agriculture. This will be informed by an interview with an industry professional or researcher with expertise in this field. Students will then individually write up a media communication piece to present the issue to a general audience.

The components of this assessment task are:

1.      Pitch (0% - pass/fail hurdle) – Group task

Groups will be allocated a theme or agricultural sector and must work together to identify a topical issue important for that sector. The group will present a 7 minute pitch to one of their lecturers on their topic outlining the

-       Background/reasoning for the issue they have chosen, supported by appropriate evidence including relevance of this issue to their sector and agriculture more widely

-       The questions they will ask the industry professional to help inform their views on this issue

After successfully completing the pitch, groups will have the opportunity to interview (30 mins) their allocated industry professional or researcher.

2.      Presentation (10%) – Group task

Drawing on their background research and information from their interview groups will present their topical issue to the group as an oral presentation. The 12-minute (+3 min questions) presentation should give listeners a background to the issue, current impacts on agriculture and the relevance of the issue to society more widely, and potential innovative solutions.

3.      Written Media Article (10%) – Individual task

Students will also write (individually) a news article communicating their chosen issue and suggested solutions to a general audience.




Due Date:Fri 25 June

Submission: Oral presentation to lecturer

Word/time limit: 7 minutes

Value: 0% (hurdle)


Due Date: Fri 2 Jul

Submission: Oral presentation to class group

Word/time limit: 12 minutes (+3 min questions)

Value: 10%

Media Article

Due Date: Mon 12 July (11pm)

Submission: Written task, online via Turnitin link on Wattle site.

Word/time limit: 1000 words

Value: 10%

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 22/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Field Trip Engagement and Report

This assessment item will be comprised of two tasks

1.      Evaluation of a Farm System (20%)

2.      Future Issues Reflective Exercise (20%)


Evaluation of a Farm System

Students will select one of the farms visited during the course field trips and evaluate the factors that contribute to the choice of enterprise and management practices being used in that farm system. The aim of this task is to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the content covered throughout the course and how multiple aspects of the system are integrate. Students must complete this task as individual work. In their evaluation, students will need to:

·      Provide an overview of the current production system

·      Consider the biophysical, climatic and social factors affecting the choice of enterprise/s and how the integration of these factors in the farm system

·      Suggest alternative enterprises that may be suitable for this location and compare with the current choice of enterprise

Due Date: Thurs 22 July

Submission: This assessment should be submitted via Turnitin using the link on the course Wattle site.

Word limit: 2000 words plus references and appendices

Value: 20%


Big Issues Reflective Exercise

In this activity, students will reflect on their understanding gained throughout the course, discuss cross-sectoral issues facing future agriculture, and the role of multidisciplinary approaches in successfully addressing these, including a reflection on the role of their cognate discipline. It will be written in the reflective style, more guidance on which will be provided on the course Wattle site. Students will complete this task as individual work.

Due Date: Thurs 22 July 2021

Submission: This assessment task should be submitted via Turnitin using the link on the course Wattle site.

Word limit: 1500 words

Value: 20%


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted for timed and in-person assessment tasks. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission of written tasks. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Feedback on assignments will be provided via the Wattle site submission or email, and results will be posted up on the Wattle gradesheet.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Rachael Rodney Harris

Research Interests

Dr Rachael Rodney Harris

By Appointment
Dr Craig Strong

Research Interests

Dr Craig Strong

Dr James Latimer

Research Interests

Dr James Latimer

Martin Amidy

Research Interests

Martin Amidy

Michael Wellington

Research Interests

Michael Wellington

Dr Rachael Rodney Harris

Research Interests

Dr Rachael Rodney Harris

By Appointment
Dr Steven Crimp

Research Interests

Dr Steven Crimp

Vivienne Wells

Research Interests

Vivienne Wells

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