Credit points: 30

Subject outline

In this subject students will participate in a series of case studies. They will work in teams and act as advisers to clients/industry/research representatives on how best to manage their animal or agricultural business for clients, or comment on a research issue. Students will develop skills in accessing relevant information and in a range of teamwork and communication activities, as they develop their recommendations for a series of problems areas, for the client in the case study.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorJames Hunt

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites AGR3AH and AGR2AN


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Critically analyse complex animal or plant production problems/scenarios through consideration of the interacting biological, economic, and social factors that affect sustainable production and profitability in agricultural production systems.

At the beginning of each 3 week block, students will be presented with a case study scenario of a research topic or a problem confronting a farmer client. Students will be given instruction on the format and professional standards for consulting and for each case study each student will submit an individually written scenario on the case study problem, prepared for the manager of the animal/crop production business, or the research manager.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)

02. Access and synthesise information from multiple sources to address and understand real-life animal / plant problems in managed production systems.

Students will self-select into groups and then be given instruction on group/team dynamics. Their ability to work as a team will be indicated by their performance in their written outputs.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Teamwork (Teamwork)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)

03. Work in teams to analyse and propose solutions for different case study problems which draw on relevant information from case studies and research.

Selected readings are provided in the subject manual and research tasks are outlined. Students will be given guidelines and directions for assessing information on-line from texts and published scientific sources. In addition, there will be guest lecturers on the different issues that arise and impact on the production system involved in the current scenario. During the case study discussion sessions students work in their group to discuss the problem and possible solutions. On-line and session preparation quizzes will examine discipline knowledge of the issues involved, and critical analysis of the problem will be assessed through short in class assessments.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)

04. Write consultant reports for clients which synthesise the analysis of the real-life agricultural production problems or risks and recommend the most appropriate management strategies.

Case study discussion sessions will involve group discussion where the team will assess the information, their research findings, and then arrive at recommendations to pass on to their clients to overcome the problem. Individually written consultants reports will be submitted.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorJames Hunt

Class requirements

Problem Based Learning Week: 31 - 43
Three 2.0 hours problem based learning per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Problem-solving sessions"


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Short written problem-solving recommendations (in class, at the end of problem-solving sessions).There will be the equivalent of be six 230 word written recommendation sheets for each of the 4 case studies.52 01, 02, 03, 04
Online quizzes (on readings and session preparation)In each of the four case studies there will be the equivalent of six short on-line reading quizzes involving equivalent of 50 words.8 01, 02
Written scenarios to a choice of questions relating to the case study.One written scenario in each case study will be assessed by a 500-word written answer.40 01, 02, 04