HONOURS AGRICULTURE A

AGR4HA

2016

Credit points: 60

Subject outline

The full Honours program lasts approximately 9 months and commences in early February. Both AGR4HA and AGR4HB need to be taken up during the one academic year. The Honours program includes an original research project which is supervised by a member of staff of the Department. A variety of scientific techniques will be learned and students will conduct their research independently with some guidance. Scientific communication and thinking skills established during the undergraduate degree will be consolidated and further developed through various workshops and exercises. Other components of the program are designed to put to practice the various skills that are essential for a scientist including the writing of an annotated bibliography and scientific literature review, presentation of introductory and final seminars, participation in an on-line journal club forum, writing of a journal article-style thesis, defence of the thesis and the presentation of a research poster.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points60

Subject Co-ordinatorAnthony Gendall

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 4 - UG/Hons/1st Yr PG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be enrolled in SHARS or SHS or SHAVB.

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditions Students will have to complete both AGR4HA and AGR4HB in one academic year to be able to obtain an Honours degree.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Research, analyse and evaluate published and acquired scientific information and communicate this to a scientific audience in written form.

Activities:
Students will participate in a variety of workshops and exercises on database searching, Endnote, critical analysis, synthesising and evaluating scientific information. In addition, workshops on scientific writing provide the necessary skills to prepare a literature review, and a final thesis. The feedback provided on the literature review is useful for improving the skill to write the final thesis. Students will also submit drafts of their work to their supervisor for feedback. In first semester a journal club forum will be set up where students have to actively participate in the discussions. In second semester a media communication workshop will be given. Several workshop time slots will also be allocated to discuss student progress and to answer any questions about assignments.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Writing (Writing)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)

02. Present and discuss research information to/with a scientific audience using effective oral communication skills.

Activities:
Students will receive a workshop on how to give an interesting and informative presentation before their introductory seminar is due. Students practice presentations within their research group. Feedback on the introductory seminar in first semester can be used when preparing for the final research seminar. In second semester a media communication workshop will be given. A thesis defence will be held at the end of the semester. Several workshop time slots will also be allocated to discuss student progress and to answer any questions about assignments.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Speaking (Speaking)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)

03. Critically analyse and interpret scientific information and data, assess their relevance and validity and justify the conclusions drawn.

Activities:
During the year students will regularly meet with their supervisor to discuss their findings and any issues that arise. Workshops will be given on critical analysis and synthesising and evaluating information. An on-line journal club forum will be set up for 4-5 weeks, depending on the number of students. In pairs, students will lead the discussion of one particular paper and they have to actively participate in all the journal club discussions. Students will need to read several papers, analyse them critically and bring forward several questions/comments for discussion.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)
Teamwork (Teamwork)

04. Set up experiments independently and evaluate the techniques used and the data collected in order to make necessary modications.

Activities:
Students will learn new techniques during their Honours year and execute these independently after initial supervision. Lab inductions will be given to students at the beginning of their project to ensure everyone works safely in the lab, complying with certified laboratory environments. Depending on the research project, students might design their own experiments and experimental protocols using the literature and/or previous methodologies. Students will analyse their data, interpret them and make adjustments to protocols, experiments when needed. During the year students will regularly meet with their supervisor to discuss their findings.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Teamwork (Teamwork)

05. Propose an experimental design for the investigation and analyse experimental data using statistical tests relevant for agricultural research.

Activities:
Several Statistics workshops will be given during the year including an individual session with a statistician in second semester. Students regularly meet with their supervisor for feedback and to discuss any issues that arise.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)

06. Apply knowledge in agricultural research when designing experiments, analysing results and drawing conclusions.

Activities:
Through the annotated bibliography and literature review, students will gain more insight into the area they are researching. This knowledge will be used when designing experiments, analysing and discussing results, evaluating information and drawing conclusions. Students will learn to analyse and critically evaluate scientific information during the year. Workshops will be given on critical analysis and synthesising and evaluating information.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Discipline-specific GCs (Discipline-specific GCs)
Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy (Quantitative Literacy/ Numeracy)

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2016, Semester 1, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAnthony Gendall

Class requirements

WorkShop
One 1.0 hours workshop per week and delivered via face-to-face.
"Continuous research project (AGR4HA & AGR4HB combined) which can include lab work/field work/work in a non-LTU facility. Research projects may require laboratory and/or outdoor activities with specialist safety considerations and out-of-hours timetabling. Students are advised to discuss research requirements with their supervisor before enrolment."

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Annotated bibliography and Literature review (up to 5000 words maximum)10 01, 03
Final research seminar (20-minute presentation + 5 minutes questions)10 02, 03, 05, 06
Introductory seminar (15-minute presentation + 5 minutes questions)5 02, 05, 06
On-line journal club forum. Runs for approximately 4 -5 weeks.Each student will lead a discussion of a paper with a fellow student. Students must actively participate in each discussion, including bringing forward new ideas, resources etc.5 01, 03
Research poster5 01, 03, 05, 06
Supervisor's mark (10%) & Coordinator's mark (5%)The assessment components listed are the combined assessment for AGR4HA and AGR4HB.15 03, 04, 06
Thesis (Journal-article style, 8000 words maximum plus appendices)45 01, 03, 05, 06
Thesis defence (20 minutes)5 02, 03, 06

Melbourne, 2016, Semester 2, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAnthony Gendall

Class requirements

WorkShop
One 1.0 hours workshop per week and delivered via face-to-face.
"Continuous research project (AGR4HA & AGR4HB combined) which can include lab work/field work/work in a non-LTU facility. Research projects may require laboratory and/or outdoor activities with specialist safety considerations and out-of-hours timetabling. Students are advised to discuss research requirements with their supervisor before enrolment."

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Annotated bibliography and Literature review (up to 5000 words maximum)10 01, 03
Final research seminar (20-minute presentation + 5 minutes questions)10 02, 03, 05, 06
Introductory seminar (15-minute presentation + 5 minutes questions)5 02, 05, 06
On-line journal club forum. Runs for approximately 4 -5 weeks.Each student will lead a discussion of a paper with a fellow student. Students must actively participate in each discussion, including bringing forward new ideas, resources etc.5 01, 03
Research poster5 01, 03, 05, 06
Supervisor's mark (10%) & Coordinator's mark (5%)The assessment components listed are the combined assessment for AGR4HA and AGR4HB.15 03, 04, 06
Thesis (Journal-article style, 8000 words maximum plus appendices)45 01, 03, 05, 06
Thesis defence (20 minutes)5 02, 03, 06