Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject explores human food production, its current and future challenges from both Australian and global perspectives. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of human food production and the key factors driving change in food production systems. Contemporary food production drivers, such as global population dynamics, advances in knowledge and technology, and globalisation of markets will be explored. Issues of change and sustainability in global food production systems will be explored and will consider concepts such as population growth, food security, climate change, agro-ecosystem resilience. The practical outcomes of these concepts will be explored in both local and global contexts.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPenelope Smith

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Admission into SBATE


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAn obsolete dichotomy? Rethinking the rural-urban interface in terms of food security and production in the global southRecommendedLemer, A & Eakin, H 2011THE GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL, VOL. 177, NO. 4, PP. 311-320
ReadingsAquaculture and food crisis: opportunites and constraintsRecommendedLiao, I & Chao, N n.d.ASIS PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION, VOL. 18, NO. 4, PP. 564
ReadingsAquaculture: Future fishRecommendedCressey, D 2009NATURE, VOL. 458, NO.7237, PP. 398-400
ReadingsBeyond Industrial Agriculture? Some questions about Farm Sustainability.RecommendedWoodhouse, P 2010JOURNAL OF AGRARIAN CHANGE, VOL. 10, NO. 3, PP. 437-453
ReadingsChanges in farming and future prospectsRecommendedBuckwell, A & Armstrong-Brown, S 2004TECHNOLOGY AND POLICY, VOL. 146, PP. 14-21
ReadingsClimate change and food security: health impacts in developed countriesRecommendedlake, I, Hooper, L & Waldron, K 2012ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES, VOL. 120, NO. 11, PP 1520-1526
ReadingsClimate induced historic and future changes in viticultureRecommendedSchultz, H & Jones, G 2010JOURNAL OF WINE RESEARCH, VOL. 21, NO. 2/3, PP. 137-145
ReadingsCross boundary farming: can this challenging farming method save the Australian family farm?RecommendedMuenstermann, I 2009RURAL SOCIETY, VOL. 19, NO. 3, PP. 262-274
ReadingsDeveloping potential adaptations to climate change for farming systems in Western Australia's Northern Agricultural Region using economic analysis tool STEPRecommendedAbrahams, M, Reynolds, C, Gardiner, D 2012AGRICULTURAL BUSINESS AND FARMING SYSTEMS, VOL 9. NO. 1, PP. 9-28
ReadingsDiversified Farming Systems: An Agroecological, Systems-based Alternative to Modern Industrial AgricultureRecommendedKremen, C Iles, A & Bacon, c 2012ECOLOGY & SOCIETY, VOL. 17, NO.4, PP. 288-306
ReadingsFarming the seaRecommendedAsche, F 2008MARINE RESOURCES ECONOMICS, VOL. 23, NO. 4 PP. 527-547
ReadingsGlobal food supply: a challenge for sustainable agricultureRecommendedLeaver, J 2011NUTRITION BULLETIN, VOL. 36, NO. 4, PP. 416-421
ReadingsNot merely an advertisement: purity, trust and flour 1880-1930RecommendedParcell, L & Lamme M, 2012AMERICAN JOURNALISM, VOL. 29, NO. 4, PP. 94-127
ReadingsThe role or marine aquaculture in meeting the future demand for animal proteinRecommendedLangan, R 2008JOURNAL OF FOOD SERVICE, VOL. 19, NO. 4, PP 227-233

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Describe and explain the historical evolution of human food production, and the key factors driving change in food production systems

Lectures, cases studies and readings will used in tutorials to explore the development of food production systems. Discussion regarding the evolution of sustainable and non-sustainable systems will occur in tutorials.

02. Investigate and discuss drivers of change in contemporary food production systems, including global population dynamics, advances in knowledge and technology, and globalisation of markets

Case studies and group exercises will be used to explore how the current systems of food production work. Students will identify the parameters which determine the extent of production.

03. Investigate issues of change and sustainability in global food production systems, including population growth, food security, climate change and agroecosystem resilience

Research exercises into the effects of climate change, soil erosion, population growth will be introduced in lectures and consolidated by group research exercises. Presentation of the group findings will be discussed by the class.

04. Describe the Australian perspective in the face of changing global food production mechanisms

Research into the Australian perspective of the effects of climate change, soil erosion and population growth will be introduced in lectures and consolidated by group research tasks. Presentation of the group findings will be discussed by the class.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2018, Week 29-43, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPenelope Smith

Class requirements

WorkShop Week: 29 - 42
Two 2.0 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 29 to week 42 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Assignment (Case study 1500 words)25 03
Reflective journal (1000 words) & presentation (10 minutes, 500 words equivalent)Reflective journal detailing a "changing world" topic & presentation (10 minutes)35 01, 02, 03, 04
Tutorial Assessments (on line quizzes, 650 words equivalent total)25 01, 02, 03
Workshop Assessment (2 x small presentations 5 minutes, 500 words equivalent total)15 04