AGR301 Agricultural Systems (8)

A systems approach means that agriculture is studied as a whole. This is in contrast to the reductionist scientific and technology problem solving method that is the basis of most subjects in the agriculture course. Here agriculture is portrayed as a mass of component parts studied separately. The advantage of the holist approach used in systems thinking is that it emphasises interactions and complexity in agriculture - including the people component. Emergent properties are also a feature of systems that are not appreciated in normal scientific work - the important point being that the whole is larger and more complex than the sum of the parts. Thus, systems agriculture provides a better understanding of the true nature of agriculture with its many facets (production, scientific, ecological, social, political, economic, management) and its complexity. The aim of the subject is to manage and understand change in agriculture.

The project is a central aspect in Agricultural Systems. It is a real world problem-solving task in which you will be a self-directed learner

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2019.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Must have completed 2 years of the BAppSci (Agric) course or a sequence of study considered satisfactory by the Subject Coordinator

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • (a) explain how Systems approaches enable learning and improving complex and ill defined situations in agriculture;
  • (b) explain how Systems concepts are used to describe and analyse complex agricultural situations;
  • (c) apply a Systems Approach (methodology) to learn about and improve rural situations;
  • (d) communicate (in seminar and literature review) Agricultural Systems concepts enable an understanding of complex real world problems and situations.
  • Attitudes
  • appreciate the general philosophy and theory underpinning the Systems Approach in agriculture;
  • appreciate the Systems Approach as an alternative way of thinking about change in agriculture;


This subject will cover the following topics:

a) General systems theory, agriculture as a human activity system, the interface between ecology, agroecosytems and social systems. Social research methods, systems analysis - including situation improvement, learning and problem solving in agriculture. The economic, social, cultural and political influences affecting change in agricultural systems

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 334 733 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2019 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: September 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.