Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences

Course GC-AGSC (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 085101C
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 50 credit points taken over 6 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Ian Bland


Prospective students:

Currently enrolled students:

Contact Stop 1

Course Overview:

Students will be introduced to many of the issues underpinning the advances in food and fibre production within the Australian and International Agriculture sectors. The discipline core subjects within the Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences cover a range of plant and animal disciplines as well as a focus on current and emerging environmental agricultural and associated industry impacts.

Graduates have a foundation in the scientific principles and analytical skills behind improved agricultural production systems and their sustainability. Students undertake interdisciplinary studies in the nature of agricultural crop, food and fibre production and markets at an advanced level. Knowledge and skills are developed in environmental, economic, social and ethical factors related to plant- and animal-derived food and fibre production in Australia and globally.

The Graduate Certificate consists of 50 credit points of study. The Graduate Certificate may be undertaken as either full-time over one semester or part-time study over one year and will be delivered at the Parkville campus. The program comprises of one core subject (12.5 credit points), one specialisation core subject (12.5 credit points) and two elective subjects (25 credit points). The specialisation core subjects cover a range of plant and animal disciplines as well as a focus on current and emerging environmental agricultural and associated industry impacts.

The Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences is a pathway into the Graduate Diploma and / or the Master of Agricultural Sciences.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this course will be equipped with an introductory knowledge of agricultural crop, food and fibre production and markets, They will be:

  • Able to explore the interdisciplinary nature of agricultural crop, food and fibre production and markets
  • Provided with a sound foundation in the scientific principles and analytical skills behind improved agricultural production systems and their sustainability
  • Introduced to research topics and practical applications within the disciplines of agricultural science
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The program comprises of one core subject (12.5 credit points), one specialisation core subject (12.5 credit points) and two elective subjects (25 credit points)

Subject Options:


If you are considering continuing onto the Master of Agricultural Sciences, you should note that there are four specialisations

  • Agribusiness
  • Animal Science
  • Crop Science
  • Food Security

You should determine which specialisation you wish to undertake, especially if you are considering progressing to further study as some subjects could be a pre-requsite for other subjects within the Masters. Choose your specialisation core subject and elective subjects to suit your chosen specialisation.

Core Subject

All students are required to take this core subject;

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Discipline Core Subjects

Students must select ONE discipline core subject. The following subjects are recommended for specific disciplines:

  • Agribusiness - Choose AGRI90013 Financial Management for Agribusiness (pre-requisite subject for AGRI90016 Managing Risk at Masters level)
  • Animal Science - Choose DASC90008 Monogastric Science
  • Crop Science - Choose AGRI90066 Soil Science and Management
  • Food Security - Choose FOOD90026 The Politics of Food
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Elective Subjects

Students should choose their remaining 25 credit points from the following elective subject choices:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2016
Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

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

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

  • An undergraduate degree in any discipline with a weighted average mark of at least H3 (65%)

Meeting this requirement 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 Academic Board Rules on the use of selection instruments.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

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 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 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 School. 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:

Students are able to progress to the GD-AGSC Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Sciences or the MC-AGSC Master of Agricultural Sciences.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates of this course will possess attributes that will ensure eligibility to apply for employment in the public or private sectors related to a wide range of agricultural production, environmental, economics and service industries and organisations , or continue into further postgraduate programs of study.

Generic Skills:

In this course, students will:

  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills in the interdisciplinary field of agricultural science
  • 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

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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