AGS422 Contemporary Issues in Agriculture (8)

This subject provides students with a systems theory framework for analysing and applying critical thinking to contemporary global issues in agriculture. Students will investigate complex agricultural issues including globalised trade networks, food-based social movements, Indigenous Australians knowledge, sustainability challenges and the economic, social, cultural and political influences affecting change in agricultural systems, practices and policies. The subject focuses on local-global integrated dynamics of agriculture, with specific attention to people and the people-centred nature of agriculture. Students will be introduced to social research methodology and will have the opportunity to investigate a case study in-depth. Students will explore multiple techniques for communicating their findings via a range of media.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2020.

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 Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

AGR220, AGR202, AHT101

Subject Relationships

AGS401 AGS422 to replace this subject (AGS401)

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain and critically analyse a range of social, economic, environmental and political issues affecting the practice of agriculture globally;
  • be able to demonstrate the capacity to locate, critically evaluate, manage and use information and research to synthesise and guide their own knowledge and learning;
  • be able to apply systems thinking approaches, informed by ethical decision making, to identify creative solutions to wicked agricultural issues;
  • be able to critically analyse the role of Indigenous Australian cultural practices in contemporary agriculture;
  • be able to apply skills in social research and analysis to investigate an issue;
  • be able to develop a problem-solving strategy to address an agricultural issue; and
  • be able to communicate to a professional audience.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Sustainability Key Concepts and Historical Developments (Brundtland report, triple-bottom line, climate change and agriculture agroecosystems, catchment management, Sustainable Development Goals,);
  • Systems Thinking and Wicked Problems in Globalised Agricultural Systems (agricultural policy at regional, state, national and global levels, radical representation, food-based social movements, influence of lobby groups, farmer advocacy groups, biofuels, the global food regime, global agricultural production influences and trends);
  • Social Research (people-centred nature of agriculture, application of social research to complex agricultural issues, theoretical perspectives that underpin research; understanding the needs of participants and researchers; creating research questions; research ethics, reporting findings); and
  • Knowledges (Indigenous knowledges, alternative agricultures, innovation, leapfrog entrepreneurship).

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.