AGR141 Introduction to Ecological Agriculture (8)


In this subject students will be introduced to the concepts, values and agricultural practices associated with ecological agriculture via a comparative historical and experiential exploration of various forms of agriculture. The journey will include first hand encounters with a range of agricultural systems. Students will observe and experience contrasting approaches to the use of the land for agriculture. From there they will move to explore in an introductory fashion, the history of agriculture, the environmental issues facing modern agriculture, the ecocentric perspectives on fundamental issues of agricultural sustainability and the relationships between agriculture and society in a background context of ecological economics.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
Online*Orange Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: AGR141
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Rural Management

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
be able to:

- appreciate, critique, and debate the environmental concerns of conventional agriculture
- relate to basic integrating issues in ecology and economics
- describe and define the characteristics of ecological agriculture


The subject will cover the following topics:
Environmental and ecological issues in agriculture Basic concepts and language of ecology for describing agricultural ecosystems, and agriculture in its landscape context (e.g. Conway's schema) Case studies illustrating the use of basic ecosystems modelling to describe agroecological systems: water, nutrients, energy. Introduction to ecological economics The whole and the part Determinism and relativism 'Ends and means' Strategies to link ecology and economics Review of the 'environmental problems': the human impact (e.g. pollution, resource depletion, technological impacts) Human Nature relationships: different conceptions/worldviews (e.g. technocentrism, ecocentrism) Values and ethical issues: introduction to ecocentric thinking (e.g. deep ecology) Introductory exploration of the philosophical underpinnings of ecological agriculture.

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 2 day residential school. - Explanation of the scope and purpose of the subject - Explanation of the topics - Field visits - Invited lecturers


The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 20 October 2017. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.