Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours)

Course 631-AA (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2009
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Undergraduate


Dr Robert Edis, Course Co-ordinator, School of Resource Management, Faculty of Land and Food Resources, The University of Melbourne, Parkville. Phone: +61 3 8344 7131 Email: Louisa King, Undergraduate Student Administrative Officer, Faculty of Land and Food Resources, The University of Melbourne, Parkville. Phone: +61 3 8344 6390 Email:
Course Overview:

The honours year in Bachelor of Agricultural Science, comprises advanced coursework, and an individual research project designed to extend students' knowledge and skills in solving research problems. These honours programs can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis. The program can commence either in February or July. February commencement concludes in November. July commencement concludes in June of the following year. Most students study full time and commence in February.

On completion of the fourth (honours) year, the Faculty determines the award of honours degrees on the basis of the average mark of the weighted average of all fourth-year subjects. The resulting figure is the 'Honours Score'.


Students who have completed this course should have acquired:

  • a 'systems-thinking' approach to agricultural production and land management, including an understanding of the structures of agriculture-related industries; the principal factors that determine their location, environmental impact, sustainability, profitability and international trade competitiveness; and the biophysical, economic and social factors that affect production systems;

  • an understanding how agriculture and other land uses influence the landscape;

  • appropriate knowledge and the ability to critically evaluate knowledge gained from a range of scientific, economic and social sources;

  • the ability to disseminate scientific and industry information;

  • skills to effectively analyse, and scientifically evaluate agricultural and environmental problems and reach appropriate solutions;

  • effective communication skills in a variety of media;

  • the capacity for initiating cooperative relationships with colleagues, employers and clients;

  • appropriate group facilitation skills;

  • the ability to collect and interpret agricultural and environmental data for interpretation;

  • an understanding of the research methodologies necessary to design and interpret experiments;

  • a commitment to the highest standards of academic and intellectual integrity and an acceptance of the community responsibilities of citizenship befitting their professional standing.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

631-AA Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) - Parkville

Subject Options:


The honours course is comprised of coursework and a research project. The coursework subjects consist of core subjects, and electives to be selected essentially from 400-level subjects offered by the Faculty of Land and Food Resources and other faculties of the University. They will enable students to gain sufficient familiarity with the fields relevant to their research project. Up to two subjects not appearing on the recommended list can be taken for credit, subject to course coordinator approval. Students may select two 300-level subjects for credit, subject to course coordinator approval. Applicants to the program will need to demonstrate the completion of appropriate prerequisite subjects in their undergraduate courses when selecting coursework subjects. Students will also be expected to participate in research discussion groups or 'journal clubs' and to attend the Faculty's research seminar series.

Honours Research Project

Students will select a project from a list formulated by supervisors through the Honours Research Project subject coordinator. Some of these projects may be offered in collaboration with industry, and collaborating institutions. Project proposals detailing the experimental plan and a literature review will be presented before the Honours Panel for discussion and approval prior to commencing experimental work. Students will be required to present seminars on both their project proposal and the outcomes of their research. The expected length of the thesis (including references) will normally be limited to 20 000 words (approximately 50 A4 pages).

Honours Research Project (202-401 - year long) may be replaced by 202-402 in Semester 1 or Semester 2; or 202-403 Honours Research Project mid-year entry.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2009
Semester 1, Semester 2


Semester 1

208-411 Research Philosophies and Statistics or 207-414 Social Research Methods or 220-404 Methods for Forest and Ecosystem Research

plus two electives in Semester 1 or 2

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Two electives from Semester 1 or Semester 2.

Electives can be chosen from the following list or from approved subjects from other courses.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2009
Not offered in 2009
Semester 1
Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for consideration for entry into Honours in the Bachelor of Agricultural Science, applicants must have:

  • achieved an average of at least 65 in the third year (300-level) subjects in their Faculty undergraduate degree; or
  • completed an equivalent qualification to the Faculty undergraduate degree, this qualification being recognised by the Faculty, at a level of academic performance equivalent to that required in the point above.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison Unit (8344 7068 or enrolling in the Faculty of Land and Food Resources are advised that some courses of study may put them at an increased risk of contracting Q Fever. Q Fever is a relatively common, preventable condition which while rarely fatal, can cause a severe acute illness and can result in damage to heart valves and chronic fatigue. It is recommended that students consider undertaking screening and vaccination for Q Fever prior to commencement of study. Students may be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to undertaking some coursework. Your course coordinator will advise you of this requirement prior to commencement of the study semester. Vaccine costs for students are not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), Medicare, or by the University. Some students with full private health coverage (which has hospital and ancillary cover) may receive partial re-imbursement for vaccine costs.
Further Study: After successfully completing the program, students will be prepared either to enter the workforce and pursue a career or to pursue further research study through a masters or doctor of philosophy degree.
Graduate Attributes: Graduates will be expected to:have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarshiphave in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communicationbe critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learningbe adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologiesbe well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work accept social and civic responsibilitiesbe advocates for improving the sustainability of the environmenthave a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equity and ethics
Generic Skills: Students who complete this course should have acquired:
  • a profound respect for truth, intellectual and professional integrity, and the ethics of scholarship
  • a capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning and research identification and description of the business environment in which rural and regional businesses operate
  • an ability to derive, interpret and analyse ecological, biological, social, technical or economic information from primary sources
  • an awareness of, and ability to utilize appropriate communication technology and methods for the storage, management and analysis of data
  • an ability to utilize appropriate technology in the analysis of rural and regional business
  • a capacity for creativity and innovation, through the application of skills and knowledge
  • an ability to integrate information across a broad range of disciplines to solve problems in applied situations
  • highly developed written communication skills to allow informed dialogue with individuals and groups from industry, government and the community
  • highly developed oral communication skills to allow informed dialogue and liaison with individuals and groups from industry, government and the community
  • an appreciation of social and cultural diversity from a regional to a global context
  • an ability to participate effectively as part of a team
  • an ability to plan work, use time effectively and manage small projects

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