Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science

Course 026AA (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Ian Bland


Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences

The University of Melbourne

Victoria 3010 Australia

Course Overview:


Please note that this course is no longer accepting new enrolments. Students should enrol into the Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Sciences.

The Postgraduate Diploma consists of 100 credit points of study. The Postgraduate Diploma may be undertaken as either full-time over one year or part-time study over two years and will be delivered at the Parkville campus. International students may only enrol in the course on a full-time basis. The program comprises of 5 core subjects (6.25 credit points), 1 animal subject (12.5 points) and 2 elective subjects (25 credit points). These cover a range of plant and animal disciplines as well as a focus on current and emerging environmental agricultural and associated industry impacts.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science is nested within the first year of the Master of Agricultural Science.

Learning Outcomes:

Student who complete this course will achieve the following course objectives:

  • to enable student to explore the interdisciplinary nature of agricultural crop, food and fibre production and markets at an advanced level;
  • to provide students with a sound foundation in the scientific principles and analytical skills behind improved agricultural production systems and their sustainability;
  • to introduce students to advanced research topics and practical applications within the disciplines of agricultural science;
  • to introduce students to industrial applications of agricultural science and the commercial outcomes;
  • to develop a critical understanding of environmental, economic, social and ethical factors related to plant and animal-derived food and fibre production in Australia and globally.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The program comprises of five core subjectes (62.5 credit points), one animal subject (12.5 credit points) and two elective subjects (25 credit points).


Agricultural Science

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Students must complete all of the following subjects five subjects (62.5 points):

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Animal Subject Toolbox

Students must complete one of the following subjects (12.50 points):

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Students must complete two of the elective subjects below (25 points):

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 2
Not offered in 2015
Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to pursue the course successfully using the following criteria:

  • an undergraduate degree with at least H3 (65%) average in the final year, or agraduate or postgraduate certificate in any discipline with at least H3 (65%)average, or a graduate or postgraduate diploma in any discipline, with at least H3 (65%) average, or an honours degree in any discipline, or equivalent; and
  • a curriculum vitae or resume; and
  • two academic referee reports; and
  • a personal statement of up to 500 words.

2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for further referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above. Note. Up to 100 points of advanced standing in Master of Agricultural Science may be awarded for the completion of a relevant honours degree or a Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science or equivalent.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultual Sciences (FVAS) welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Faculty policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable the student’s participation in the Faculty's programs. FVAS contributes to the New Generation degrees and offers a broad range of programs across undergraduate and post-graduate levels many of which adopt a multi-disciplinary approach.

Students of the Facultys' courses must possess intellectual, ethical, and emotional capabilities required to participate in the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the Faculty. Candidates must have abilities and skills in observation; motor in relevant areas; communication; in conceptual, integrative, and quantitative dimensions; and in behavioural and social dimensions.

Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability, however students need to be able to participate in the program in an independent manner and with regard to their safety and the safety of others.

I. Observation: In some contexts, the student must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and applied sciences. More broadly, observation requires reading text, diagrams, maps, drawings and numerical data. The candidate should be able to observe details at a number of scales and record useful observations in discipline dependant contexts.

II. Communication: A candidate should be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, members of relevant professions and the public. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing.

III. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function necessary for participation in the inherent discipline-related activities. The practical work, design work, field work, diagnostic procedures, laboratory tests, require varying motor movement abilities. Off campus investigations may include visits to construction sites, urban, rural and/or remote environments.

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of professionals in land and environment industries, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

V. Behavioural and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Further Study:

Leads to Masters Agricultural Science

Graduate Attributes:

Graduate in the Postgraduate Diploma program will possess attributes that will ensure they can either find employment in the public or private sectors related to a wide range of agricultural production, environmental, economics, bioresearch and service industries, and community organisations concerned with public good, or continue into further postgraduate programs of study.

Generic Skills:

This couse encompasses particular generic skills. On completion of the course students should have:

  • A profound respect for truth, intellectual and professional integrity, and the ethics of scholarship
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning and research
  • An ability to derive, interpret and analyse social, technical or economic information from primary and other sources
  • Awareness of and ability to utilise appropriate communication technology and methods for the storage, management and analysis of data
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation, through the application of skills and knowledge
  • Ability to integrate information across a relevant discipline to solve problems in applied situations
  • Highly developed computer - based skills to allow for effective on-line learning and communication.
  • 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.
  • Appreciation of social and cultural diversity from a regional to a global context
  • Ability to participate effectively as a member of a team
  • Ability to plan work, use time effectively and manage small projects

Completion of an Honours program or a Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science (or equivalent) will give an advanced standing of up to 100 points into the Master of Agricultural Science.

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