About the course
CSU’s Bachelor of Ecological Agriculture is built on four foundational principles:
* Ecological 'thinking'
* Ecological 'ethics'
* Ecological 'literacy'
* Ecological 'practice'
The Bachelor of Ecological Agriculture explores the connection between social, ecological and business skills and knowledge to produce graduates well suited to a wide range of roles, principally in:
* the management of agricultural enterprises, e.g. biological farming
* mainstream enterprises that are moving towards an agro-ecological focus
* the overlap between agriculture and land resource management, e.g. Landcare
* government agencies involved with agriculture and natural resource management
The particular emphasis of the course is threefold:
* the application of ecological knowledge and skills (i.e. ecological thinking) to the management of farming, grazing and related agricultural systems
* the development of a high level of managerial capability incorporating communication, interpersonal skills and integrated project management, as well as holistic approaches to situation improvement
* the acquisition of an ecological ethic based on the principles of environmental stewardship.
There is also a strong focus on developing a student’s ecological literacy through:
* placing emphasis on ecological philosophy
* emphasising holistic thinking as an overarching process that embraces reductionist thinking
* enhancement of their imagination and empathy skills
* exploring their sense of place in evolutionary and geographical terms
In addition, the student will be supported to develop:
* an understanding of the principles of ecology including social ecology
* an ethic of land stewardship with consideration of the environmental impact of production activities
* knowledge and skills in agricultural management consistent with the ecological foundation of agriculture
* environmentally responsible practices to minimise the impact of agriculture
* effective facilitation, project management and inquiry skills to assist in managing change.
Where it will take you
The growth in demand for organic foods and fibres has resulted in a range of employment opportunities including advisory services, research, marketing and catchment management services. Other possible career paths include positions as specialist consultants, roles within government advisory bodies and departments, and community organisations such as Landcare.
Agricultural and environmental experts have already indicated their excitement about the prospects for graduates from this program.
Students may be granted credit for previous study at certificate level or higher. More information about specific details of credit may be obtained by contacting the relevant Course Coordinator.
To graduate with the award Bachelor of Ecological Agriculture (BEcolAgric), students must satisfactorily complete the equivalent of 24 standard subjects including:
* a core equivalent to 14 standard subjects (112 points)
* 10 elective subjects selected to satisfy a major (eight points) or a minor (six to seven subjects).
Kerry Cochrane - Course Coordinator, Ecological Agriculture
"The single most important issue for understanding modern agriculture is how to marry the objective world of technology, biology and ecology with the subjective world of the person and their perceptions. We must aim to understand the relationship between ‘it’ and ‘me’ rather than studying and applying ‘it’.
"Australian agriculture is largely missing the holistic perspectives that would help the industry make decisions that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. While ever our view of the industry is framed entirely by scientific study we will lack the creative, lateral perspectives that will allow us to see the inter-relationships between the components and ultimately understand how agriculture is a tool for meeting societal objectives.
"Many issues are really about social conscience, human morality or even market trends. Our attitude to the study of agriculture needs to be broad enough to embrace these ’soft' elements of our understanding.
"It is because of this we have developed the degree in Ecological Agriculture. We saw that a new approach to education was needed which helped develop a new generation of lateral thinkers who were interested in the triple bottom line of a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable industry."