AHT401 Agroecosystems & Human Values (8)

A systems approach means that production systems like agriculture and horticulture are studied as a whole entity. This is in contrast to the reductionist scientific and technology problem solving method that focuses on studying elements at a singular level; the basis of most subjects in industry based courses. In this subject, agricultural production systems are studied as a collective of component parts existing within a natural and social environment. Utilising an holistic approach in systems thinking emphasises key interactions that exist between major system components, whilst also revealing overall complexity. Studying at a systems level provides an understanding of the true nature of production industries, drawing on and bringing together knowledge from a range of scientific disciplines and industry specialisations.

Given that human values are having an increasingly important impact on the management of agricultural and / or ecological systems, a multi-disciplinary approach is applied within this subject as an introduction to socio-economic research. This Major Project provides an opportunity to study a real world problem situation and involves skills and knowledge in social research, soft systems methodology and team work.

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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to explain how Systems approaches enable learning and improving complex and ill defined situations in production systems ;
  • Be able to explain how Systems concepts are used to describe and analyse complex production system situations;
  • Be able to apply a Systems Approach (methodology) to learn about and improve regional situations;
  • Be able to communicate (in seminar and literature review) how Systems concepts enable an understanding of complex real world problems and situations.


This subject will cover the following topics:

- 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. The economic, social, cultural and political influences affecting change in systems.

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.Class discussions of major topics Complete literature review seminars Tutorial programs for major research project


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au 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.