Master of Agricultural Science

Course MC-AGSCI (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 061207B
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 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:

This course is no longer accepting new enrolments. Students should consider enrolling into the Master of Agricultural Sciences MC-AGSC

The Master of Agricultural Science course provides a research-led national and international focused program directed at students who wish to build a professional career in a specialised area of the Agricultural Sciences. Graduates in the Master programme 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 programmes of study.

On completion of the Master of Agricultural Science you will have gained a broad understanding of many of the issues underpinning the advances in food and fibre production within the Australian and International Agriculture sectors. You will also have completed at least a 25 point research project and have broadened your base knowledge through elective subjects.

This includes subjects focused on animal and plant production, management of disease and pest incursions and on advanced breeding and spatial information capabilities

Learning Outcomes:

In this course, students will

  • be able to demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in the interdisciplinary field of agricultural science
  • interpret, critically analyse and evaluate data generated through research activities in order to effectively understand and implement improved agricultural systems
  • be exposed to advanced research topics and practical applications within the disciplines of agricultural science, and develop the skills necessary to plan and execute an independent piece of research and communicate the impact of this work
  • develop an understanding of problem solving and research methodologies and demonstrate personal accountability by applying solutions to diverse challenges facing agricultural systems
  • investigate and apply innovative approaches to the contemporary, interdisciplinary management of commercial agricultural systems
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of environmental, economic, social and ethical factors related to plant and animal-derived food and fibre production in Australia and globally, with the cognitive, technical and creative skills necessary to communicate the information to a specialist and non-specialist audience

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Master of Animal Science (coursework) consists of 200 credit points of study. The Master course may be undertaken as either full time study over two years or part time study over four 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 62.50 credit points of Core subjects, 12.50 credit points of Animal Toolbox subjects; 25 credit points of Professional Toolbox subjects, a minimum of 25 credit points of Research Project and a minimum of 25 credit points of discipline electives.



Subject Options:

Core Subjects

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

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Animal Subject Toolbox

Students must select one of the following Animal subject (12.5 point) choices:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Professional Toolbox

Students must complete two (25 points) Professional Toolbox subjects - one subject (12.5 points) from Science Tools and one subject (12.5 points) from Business Tools or Scientific Communication)

Science Tools

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

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Business Tools/Scientific Communication

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

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Not offered in 2015
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2

Research Project

Students must complete a minimum of two subjects (25 points) from the following:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2

Discipline Electives

Students must complete a minimum of two subjects (25 points) from the following:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Other Electives

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 1
Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

• an undergraduate degree with at least an H3 (65%) weighted average, or equivalent; or
• a graduate or postgraduate certificate in any discipline with at least an H3 (65%) weighted average, or equivalent; or
• a graduate or postgraduate diploma in any discipline with at least an H3 (65%) weighted average, or equivalent; or
• an honours degree in any discipline, or equivalent.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:
• prior academic performance.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Admission and Selection into Course Policy.

4. The minimum English language requirements for this course are Band 6.5.


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 Agricultural 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 School’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 Faculty's 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:

Opportunities to move to Higher Degrees in Research, such as Master (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (Phd)

Graduate Attributes:

The Melbourne Experience enables our Graduates to become:

Academically excellent
Our Graduates will be expected to:

  • have strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s)
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, generic research activities, problem-solving and communication
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self directed learning
  • be adept at learning in a range of ways, including through information and communication technologies

Knowledgeable across disciplines

Our graduates will be expected to:

  • examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
  • expand their analytical and cognitive skills through learning experiences in diverse subjects
  • have the capacity to participate fully in collaborative learning and to confront unfamiliar problems
  • have a a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment.

Leaders in communities

Our graduates will be expected to:

  • initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces
  • have excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, including an awareness of personal strengths and limitations
  • mentor future generations of learners
  • engage in meaningful public discourse, with a profound awareness of community needs

Attuned to cultural diversity
Our graduates will be expected to :

  • Value different cultures
  • be well-informed citizens able to contribute to their communities wherever they choose to live and work
  • have an understanding of the social and cultural diversity in our community
  • respect Indigenous knowledge, cultures and values

Active global citizens

Our graduates will be expected to:

  • accept social and civic responsibilities
  • be advocates for improving the sustainability of the environment
  • have a broad global understanding, with a high regard for human rights, equality and ethics.

Generic Skills:
  • 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


In accordance with the University’s Assessment Procedure (MPF1026), Examiners may offer reassessment (as a second attempt at passing a subject for a borderline failure in a single subject) to a student enrolled in this course. A borderline failure is defined as a mark of 45% or more.

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