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AHT401 Agroecosystems & Human Values (8)

Abstract

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.

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Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: AHT401
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 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.

Syllabus

The 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 compulsory 3 day residential school. Class discussions of major topics Complete literature review seminars Tutorial programs for major research project

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The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 18 October 2017. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.