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Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) - with specialisations

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  • Objectives
    CSU's Bachelor of Science (Agriculture - with specialisations) degree provides graduates with the opportunity to obtain the knowledge and skills in science, technology and business necessary to serve the agricultural industries, with the opportunity for relevant specialisation.
  • Academic Title
    Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) - with specialisations
  • Course description
    About the course

    The Bachelor of Science (Agriculture - with specialisations) degree is a three-year full-time program on the Wagga Wagga Campus, or a six-year part-time program by distance education. It provides training in major disciplines which underpin our modern agricultural industries.

    The course reflects the School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences’ emphasis and commitment to ‘new‘ agriculture, providing students with a variety of study options which maximise their potential and career prospects.

    The degree is science-based and allows students to specialise in one of five major disciplines (specialisations):

        * Agriculture
        * Agronomy
        * Livestock Production
        * Irrigation
        * Agricultural Biotechnology

    Initially students in the Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) enrol in common first year subjects. Students then choose their specialisations at the end of year one to commence in year two. CSU’s School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences has long been considered a world leader in agricultural education.

    Year one

    Year one provides a strong foundation in the basic sciences with all students studying chemistry, botany, microbiology, soil science and animal physiology. Students are also introduced to basic concepts in agricultural systems, agricultural business and economics.

    Year two

    Year two extends your studies in the sciences and allows specialisation in a chosen discipline. All students learn essential skills in data analysis and communication, in various forms, essential for all professions regardless of career path.

    Year three

    In year three, students will develop in depth knowledge in their chosen specialisations. For instance, agronomy and agriculture specialisation students will extend their studies of agricultural systems, crops and pasture agronomy, weed science and plant pathology. Our livestock production students learn more about animal production and welfare. Students in the irrigation specialisation learn more about the principles of irrigation and water policy management or plant propagation and nursery management respectively. Our agricultural biotechnology students get to grips with new technologies for plant and animal breeding, discovering why biotechnology is having such a huge impact on agriculture today.

    Where it will take you

    A diverse range of career opportunities is available to you as a graduate of this degree program, regardless of specialisation. Using your degree as a vocational tool, you can expect to pursue a career as:

        * agronomist
        * agricultural merchandise representative
        * livestock/animal production specialist
        * land care coordinators/manager
        * advisory and technical consultant
        * teacher
        * journalist
        * irrigation specialist
        * marketing professional
        * rural financial supply officer
        * laboratory and field based researcher
        * biotechnologist
        * parks and recreations officer
        * landscape designer
        * nursery manager

    Using the degree as a general qualification, students can find employment in many areas outside science and agriculture.

    Your course is recognised by industry

    Graduates are eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology.

    The latest facilities

    As well as the rich resources in the region, students in the School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences have an array of state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities for practical experience. These include:

        * extensive and diverse farming facilities based around a 640ha University farm
        * access to a range of mixed farms and agricultural research institutions
        * five state-of-the-art laboratories
        * engineering facility
        * extensive computer facilities
        * strong links with Department of Primary Industries (the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute is right next door)
        * working models of a full range of irrigation systems for teaching and research (linear move, overhead sprinklers, drip irrigation systems, furrows, beds, flood and paddy)
        * demonstration of drainage, soil moisture measurement and waste water monitoring
        * the most sophisticated underground root growth laboratory (drainage lysimeter) in the southern hemisphere
        * strong links with industry (partner in the National Irrigation Education Initiative), particularly in the Murrumbidgee and Coleambally Irrigation Areas

    Our dedicated and caring staff are committed to providing the highest quality education in a uniquely rural, equal opportunities environment.

    Credit

    Students who have studied and successfully completed subjects at other universities or TAFE which are likely to be equivalent to subjects in the CSU Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) - with specialisations may apply for credit for those subjects when applying. Credit will be granted for subjects which are equivalent in content and standard at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.

    Residential school

    Distance education students usually study two subjects per session. Many subjects in this course have optional and / or compulsory residential school requirements. Most residential schools are of two to four days duration.

    Science Scholarships

    CSU's Science Scholarships are available for on campus applicants to this course, providing $4000 per annum for up to four years (subject to satisfactory progress). Once awarded the Scholarship, the money is the student's to spend in the way that assists them most.

    Applicants must achieve a University Admissions Index (UAI)(NSW) or ENTER(VIC) of 80 and above (inclusive of the Regional Bonus) to be eligible to receive the Scholarship.

    To apply, download the Science Scholarships application form, complete all sections, then return the form to the Scholarships Officer before the end of October in the year prior to commencing your studies.

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate from any of the specialisations students must satisfactorily complete 192 points (24 subjects), and meet the requirements of the generic program or one of the approved specialisations. Students will graduate from the Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) with the following awards, according to their chosen specialisation:

        * Agriculture: BSc(Agric)
        * Agronomy: BSc(Agric-Agronomy)
        * Livestock Production: BSc(Agric-LivestockProdn)
        * Irrigation: BSc(Agric-Irrig)
        * Agricultural Biotechnology: BSc(Agric-AgricBiotech)

    Further study

    Graduates have the opportunity to pursue postgraduate studies through Honours, Master and Doctoral programs at CSU.

    Life at CSU

    CSU is a multi-campus University and offers a range of courses in a variety of areas with a historical focus on rural and regional services which has been the basis for new courses in Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture, Education, Arts, Nursing, Commerce, Viticulture, Information Technology and many others. With the range of student interest comes a diverse, vibrant learning community that enhances the university experience. Wagga Wagga is a large regional city in southern NSW well serviced by rail, bus and several daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne.
    Agriculture Specialisation

    The future of agriculture will be a balance between technology and hands-on farming. If the idea of spending your working life at a desk is not for you, CSU’s Agriculture degree promises a fantastic career with a focus on the outdoors. This degree offers an excellent balance between scientific training, real-world management and industry requirements.

    The course is ideally located at the Wagga Wagga Campus, exposing students to a rich and diverse farming area comprising grazing lands, croplands and irrigation areas, and excellent facilities and infrastructure including a farm, equine centre, vineyards and winery.

    The Bachelor of Science (Agriculture - with specialisations) is the strand to follow if you wish to undertake subjects that will give you a balance of plant and animal studies in agriculture, or if you are not sure which specialisation to undertake. This strand also allows you flexibility in your studies by allowing you to elect to study restricted subjects of your choice from within other specialisations. If you choose to follow the Agriculture strand and wish to change to another specialisation later in your course, you will need to discuss the options with your Course Coordinator.

    The Agriculture specialisation offers a general introduction to agricultural science, its application and practice in the context of modern farming systems. The course focuses on management and business skills as well as specific agricultural topics like soil science, plant protection, irrigation, crop production and livestock management. Students are exposed to real issues like the instability of agricultural productivity, the fragility of soil and water resources, the quality of food supply and the social and economic makeup of rural communities. Specialisations in the areas of animal management, agronomy and resource management are available in this flexible course.
    Where it will take you

    The degree in Agriculture has earned a solid reputation with employers as a well-balanced course, producing graduates with the sought after combination of knowledge, attitude and skill. There is currently a strong demand for agronomists in dryland and irrigated areas, and a largely undeveloped demand for employable graduates in farm management and intensive livestock industries. The international nature of agriculture provides students with opportunities for work overseas. In fact, many of our students spend their first year after graduation on the 'harvest trail', working from Texas north to Montana, grain harvesting.

    Career opportunities include:

        * agricultural merchandising
        * agronomy
        * livestock management
        * farm management
        * intensive animal production
        * land care
        * technical officers in private industry/government departments

    Agronomy Specialisation

    Agronomists who understand the science behind crop and pasture production are becoming increasingly important in modern agriculture. There are opportunities for graduates within the agronomic specialty in a wide range of fields. No matter what employment is found, all agronomists need a sound basis from which to operate. This specialisation, focused on the farming systems of southern Australia, allows students to develop the knowledge base and skills to ensure success in the workplace.

    CSU is situated in one of the most important cropping and pasture regions in southern Australia. As such students in the Agronomy specialisation are exposed to diverse and challenging aspects of crop and pasture production. The specialisation provides a mix of plant, soil and animal production related subjects. This provides students with a balanced education from which they have the opportunity to develop their own professional interests. Skills development is a key focus of the laboratory and practical component of the course. For example, students have the opportunity to build skills in plant identification, assessing crop development, disease recognition, pasture assessment, use of decision support systems, management of pesticides and much more.

    Where it will take you

    Agronomists are employed by state departments of agriculture, seed, chemical and fertiliser companies, private consultants, large farming operations or as farmers themselves. Our graduates have gone on to careers in all these fields and beyond.

    In fact, the present and former District Agronomists in Wagga Wagga have been CSU graduates. Often when visiting leading local farmers we are also visiting graduates from CSU. The Agronomy specialisation is growing in popularity among students who see it as a necessary step into their future role as professional agronomists.

    Livestock Production Specialisation

    The area of livestock production is undergoing rapid change. There is now unprecedented demand for meat and meat products and a strong but volatile demand for wool and other animal fibres. Animal sciences and related technologies are making critical contributions to the efficiency of production and to the quality of the products for both extensive and intensive industries. Science graduates specialising in Livestock Production will have the necessary balance between a basic understanding and practical application for a rewarding career path in the animal industries.

    CSU’s School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences is located at Wagga Wagga, home to the largest sheep selling centre in the world; a technically advanced cattle selling centre (air conditioned and computerised) and a large abattoir. As the location of these facilities would indicate, Wagga Wagga is strategically and centrally situated with respect to the livestock industry. To the east lie the premium wool growing areas of the Monaro and Southern Tablelands, while the Slopes and Upper Murray are home to extensive cattle breeding enterprises.

    Around Wagga Wagga the focus is on mixed farming and prime lamb production, while further west, irrigation then rangelands support a diverse range of grazing enterprises, including many famous merino studs. The region is also a centre for intensive animal production with five large feedlots, piggeries, and large poultry enterprises.

    CSU Agriculture is situated on a large mixed farm (640ha) with over 100ha of irrigation, cattle, prime lambs, merinos and cropping. The School of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences also has close links with NSW Agriculture’s Agricultural Institute, which adjoins Charles Sturt University.

    Where will it take you

    This course enables students to study subjects across the spectrum of animal science which are relevant to a future in animal enterprise management, consultancy, education or research. From basic sciences to farm management applications, the focus is on the knowledge and skills which are relevant to a future in Animal Production. Areas of specialist animal study include:

        * animal nutrition
        * genetics
        * animal physiology and anatomy
        * animal reproduction
        * feedlotting
        * meat science
        * pasture and rangeland management
        * wool technology
        * management and marketing

    NOTE: Livestock Production specialisation is not offered by distance education.
    Irrigation Specialisation

    Irrigation is vital to food and fibre production. In Australia 50% of the value derived from agriculture is underpinned by irrigation. But many water sources are fully utilised and irrigators are being challenged to produce twice as much from half as much water. There is further pressure on irrigators to adopt practices which are environmentally friendly.

    The Irrigation specialisation aims to provide a basic training in agricultural science with specialisation in irrigation applicable to horticulture, crop production, animal production and management.

    The basic science subjects include chemistry, botany, physics, soil science, plant protection, crop and pasture agronomy. Specific Irrigation subjects include Irrigation Principles, Irrigation Management and Soil Management, followed by Water Policy and Management, Critical Issues in Irrigation Management which develop diagnostic and interpretation skills.

    Students are exposed to real issues like the impact of government policies, climatic change and market fluctuations on the availability and sustainability of irrigated agriculture in Australia and the social and economic future of rural communities.

    Where it will take you

    Graduates with the Irrigation specialisation will find a wide range of careers open to them as:

        * agronomists
        * extension specialists
        * agricultural teachers and lecturers
        * technical officers
        * researchers (with further studies)
        * managers
        * marketing specialists
        * farm managers
        * animal production advisory officers
        * rural finance officers

    There will be opportunities in both government organisations and commercial companies in Australia and overseas.

    Agricultural Biotechnology specialisation

    In this specialisation you will learn the basic principles involved in agricultural production and the basic sciences underpinning these. The specialisation provides an enhanced focus on the sciences behind plant and animal production including plant and animal genetics, biochemistry, molecular/cell biology, genetic engineering and bioinformatics.

    This specialisation, as well as allowing more traditional career pathways for agriculture graduates, such as agronomists and farm managers, also allows entry into laboratory/ field-based careers. Areas include research for agrochemical companies or government organisation such as CSIRO, the Department of Primary Industries or within universities.

    Where it will take you

    Our graduates progress into very diverse careers including but not limited to:

        * agronomist
        * farm manager
        * research assistant or technical officer in agricultural research (private/government/university)
        * plant/animal breeder
        * regulatory officer with authorities like the Office for the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) or Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
        * plant protection and biosecurity
        * education and media (teacher, lecturer, journalist)

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