AGR130 Biology in Agriculture (8)

This subject introduces the subject of biology as it relates to Agriculture. Students will be taken on a journey though the key biological concepts associated with the cell; including biochemistry, structure, function (including respiration and photosynthesis) and the cell cycle. This naturally leads on to genetic principles and the mechanism of inheritance. This subject investigates plant and animal anatomy and physiology in relation to agricultural production and then grounds this work in a study of the principles of ecology. Students integrate their knowledge of biological diversity with their understanding of farming and biodiversity at the landscape level. Students will learn to use equipment and techniques for biological investigations and practice the skill of observation and recording.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: AGR130. 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

Subject Relationships

PSC102 Some common content with respect to topics addressing plant anatomy, taxonomy, physiology and plant cellular processes but tailored to agricultural plants.
PSC103 Some common content with respect to topics addressing plant anatomy, taxonomy, physiology and plant cellular processes but tailored to agricultural plants.
BIO100 Common theoretical content taught with respect to animal anatomy, diversity of life and ecology but significantly tailored to agricultural species.

Incompatible Subjects

BIO100, PSC102, PSC103

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe key biological concepts related to plant and animal cells, including the molecules of life, genetics and metabolic processes, especially photosynthesis and respiration;
  • be able to use basic equipment and techniques to investigate plant and animal form and function and be able to observe and record the information gained from these investigations;
  • be able to describe animal anatomy and physiological systems and processes, especially in relation to agricultural production animals;
  • be able to describe plant anatomy and physiological systems and processes, especially in relation to agricultural plants;
  • be able to describe diversity from single-celled to multi-celled organisms and how our taxonomic system allows us to classify life;
  • be able to describe the interactions between organisms and their biotic and non-biotic environment; and
  • be able to explain and apply ecological principles in the study of simple and biodiverse farming systems with respect to their connection and impact on the broader ecological matrix.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The science of biology: the origins of agriculture and the history of plants and people including industrialised agriculture and agriculture and the environment;
  • The cell; atoms, molecules and cell structure and function including biological molecules, cell components and their interactions, respiration and photosynthesis;
  • Inheritance: An introduction to DNA, genetics, cellular reproduction, biotechnology;
  • Animal anatomy and physiology: homeostasis and organisation of the animal body from cells upward through to tissues, organs and systems including circulation, respiration, nutrition, digestion, excretion, defence, the nervous system, reproduction and muscle and skeletal systems;
  • Plant anatomy and physiology: organisation of the plant body from cells upward through tissues, organs and systems including plant tissue types, leaves, stems and roots, transport systems, plant hormones and responses, growth and development and reproduction;
  • The diversity of life: evolution and systematics including prokaryotic and eukaryotic life such as bacteria, protists, plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates;
  • Behaviour and ecology: biological interactions on a population, community, and ecosystem level. Conservation biology; and
  • Agroecology: modelling ecological principles in agriculture and conservation practices in agricultural landscapes.

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

During the 4 day residential school, students will attend a series of tutorials and practical sessions exploring relevant biological and ecological principles pertaining to agriculture both in a laboratory environment and in the field.  A residential school is a requirement for the new subject and will allow students to gain practical skills with plant and animals that they could not otherwise attain.

Special Resources

Travel to and accommodation at a CSU campus is required for distance education students attending the compulsory residential school. All students are required to have a lab coat, safety glasses and covered footwear for lab based practicals.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.