Master of Science in Agriculture

Why study the Master of Science in Agriculture at UNE?

The Master of Science in Agriculture is a program of course work, research methodology and research designed to provide an introduction to research. The course work component is designed to provide advanced knowledge and to develop a range of skills, applicable to the candidate's background and area of interest.

Areas of specialisations are: animal science; meat science and technology; wool science; genetics and animal breeding; agricultural and resource economics; agronomy and soil science.

This is an approved Student Income Support course. Eligible students may apply for Youth Allowance or Austudy.

Career Opportunities

There are opportunities in advisory and management roles in agricultural extension and property management; departments of primary industry; soil conservation; rural banking; private consultants; feed and fertiliser manufacturers; rural journalism; providing advice on scientific, technical and economic matters.

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Degree Snapshot

DURATION

1 or 1.5 or 2 Years Full-time
Up to 6 years Part-time

FEES

CSP (quotas apply)
Full Fee
International

2017 STUDY OPTIONS
Armidale

Trimester 1, Off Campus
Trimester 1, On Campus
Trimester 2, Off Campus
Trimester 2, On Campus

Official Abbreviation MScAg
Course Type Postgraduate
CRICOS Code 000450G
Commencing
Responsible Campus Admission Period Mode of Study
Armidale Trimester 1 Off Campus
Armidale Trimester 1 On Campus
Armidale Trimester 2 Off Campus
Armidale Trimester 2 On Campus
Course Duration
  • 1 or 1.5 or 2 Years Full-time
  • Up to 6 years Part-time
Fees CSP (quotas apply) / Full Fee / International
Total Credit Points 96
How to Apply

All domestic students apply direct to UNE

For more information, click here

International students apply direct to UNE through UNE International

For more information, click here

Intensive Schools

Mandatory intensive schools may be a requirement of some of the units in this course. See Unit Catalogue for specific requirements.

Entry Requirements

A candidate shall:

(a) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification; or

(b) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification from a recognised University in a relevant discipline*; or

(c) hold an AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Bachelor with Honours qualification in a relevant discipline*.

*Relevant disciplines include, but are not limited to:

Agribusiness

Agriculture

Agricultural Economics

Animal Science

Botany

Rural Science

Zoology

Advanced Standing

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Candidates admitted under Rule (a) may be granted a maximum of 48 credit points of Advanced Standing based on units that were not part of the degree on which admission was based and may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable professional experience.

Candidates admitted under Rule (b) shall be granted a maximum of 24 credit points of Block Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature. Up to a further 36 credit points may be granted based on units that were not part of the degree on which admission was based and may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable professional experience.

Candidates admitted under Rule (c) shall be granted a maximum of 48 credit points of Block Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature. Up to a further 24 credit points may be granted based on units that were not part of the degree on which admission was based and may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable professional experience.

There shall be no advanced standing awarded for reading/research units RUSC594 or ERS501 or ERS502.

Scholarships

See the Scholarships webpage for further information

Academic Colours

Turquoise Green (BCC 121)

Further Information

You can find instant answers to many of your questions or contact UNE directly via AskUNE

These course rules & plans are ONLY to be used if you commenced, transferred or changed versions in the Master of Science in Agriculture in 2017.

Admission to Candidature

A candidate shall:
(a) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification; or
(b) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification from a recognised University in a relevant discipline*; or
(c) hold an AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma or Bachelor with Honours qualification in a relevant discipline*.

*Relevant disciplines include, but are not limited to:

Agribusiness
Agriculture
Agricultural Economics
Animal Science
Botany
Rural Science
Zoology

Additional Requirements

Inherent Requirements

Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Advanced Standing

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Candidates admitted under Rule (a) may be granted a maximum of 48 credit points of Advanced Standing based on units that were not part of the degree on which admission was based and may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable professional experience.

Candidates admitted under Rule (b) shall be granted a maximum of 24 credit points of Block Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature. Up to a further 36 credit points may be granted based on units that were not part of the degree on which admission was based and may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable professional experience.

Candidates admitted under Rule (c) shall be granted a maximum of 48 credit points of Block Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature. Up to a further 24 credit points may be granted based on units that were not part of the degree on which admission was based and may include 6 credit points on the basis of considerable professional experience.

There shall be no advanced standing awarded for reading/research units RUSC594 or ERS501 or ERS502.

Period of Candidature

For candidates admitted under Rule (a) the period of candidature shall be:
(a) two years as a full-time candidate;
(b) up to six years as a part-time candidate.

For candidates admitted under Rule (b) the period of candidature shall be:
(a) one and a half years as a full-time candidate:
(b) up to six years as a part-time candidate.

For candidates admitted under Rule (c) the period of candidature shall be:
(a) one year as a full-time candidate;
(b) up to four years as a part-time candidate.

Course Requirements

To qualify for the award a candidate admitted under Rule (a) must pass units to the value of 96 credit points including not more than 18 credit points at 100-level, not more than 18 credit points at 200-level and at least 36 credit points at 500-level.

To qualify for the award a candidate admitted under Rule (b) or (c) must pass units to the value of 96 credit points including 36 credit points at 500-level.

Program of Study

Candidates shall complete an approved program of study as outlined in the Course Schedule comprising:

For candidates admitted under Rule (a)
Course Structure Credit Points
Core Units 12 cps
Listed Units 84 cps
Total 96 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

For candidates admitted under Rule (b)
Course Structure Credit Points
Block Advanced Standing 24 cps
Core Units 12 cps
Listed Units 60 cps
Total 96 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

For candidates admitted under Rule (c)
Course Structure Credit Points
Block Advanced Standing 48 cps
Core Units 12 cps
Listed Units 36 cps
Total 96 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

Award of Degree

Candidates who meet the course requirements shall be awarded the Master of Science in Agriculture.

Exit Pathways

Subject to Advanced Standing rules candidates admitted under Rule (a) who discontinue their studies in the Master of Science in Agriculture may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Agriculture on completion of 48 credit points including not more than 12 credit points at 100-level, not more than 12 credit points at 200-level, at least 18 credit points at 400-level and not more than 6 credit points at 500-level.

Subject to Advanced Standing rules candidates admitted under Rule (b) who discontinue their studies in the Master of Science in Agriculture may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Certificate in Agriculture on completion of 24 credit points including at least 18 credit points at 400-level and not more than 6 credit points at 500-level.

Candidates who apply to discontinue their studies must apply for readmission and will be subject to the current course requirements of the Master of Science in Agriculture. This may mean that they will not receive full recognition for their previous studies should the course structure have changed in response to University requirements.

Submission of Thesis

Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Agriculture are eligible to enrol in the postgraduate thesis unit (RUSC594) only with the approval of the course coordinator and must have achieved a grade of Credit or better in the units ERS501 and ERS502 (post-2015) or SCI500 (pre-2016).

The student shall submit to the School an electronic copy of the thesis and two copies of the thesis bound in a form approved by the School. The student shall submit with the thesis a statement from his or her supervisor certifying that the thesis is in a form suitable for examination.

The thesis shall not exceed 20 000 words exclusive of tables, plates, figures and appendices, and be written in English. The completed thesis shall show capacity on the part of the student for independent thought and critical thinking.

Examination of Thesis

On the recommendation of the supervisor or supervisors, the School Teaching and Learning Committee will appoint two examiners, at least one will be external to the University. Examiners will be sent the relevant degree information.

The examiners of the thesis will make make recommendations on a grade and mark in accordance with the University Assessment Policy. Students will not be required to make subsequent changes or corrections to the examined thesis but the examiners' reports will be provided to the students as feedback.

In the case of where the examiners' mark differ by greater than 10%, examiners may consult with each other to reach a closer agreement, prior to a third examiner being sought.

RUSC594 - Notes

Enrolment in RUSC594 must be approved by the Head of School of Environmental and Rural Science or nominee. The RUSC594 handbook outlines the process for enrolment, including instructions for the proposal. Students are required to download a copy in the first instance from the following web http://www.une.edu.au/about-une/academic-schools/school-of-environmental-and-rural-science/degrees/postgraduate-coursework/rusc594-handbook.

Students will be required to negotiate a topic or project with one or more supervisors and submit a satisfactory proposal. Approval is dependent on the availability of supervision and resources.

Students will not be required to make subsequent changes or corrections to the examined thesis but the examiners' reports will be provided to the students as feedback.

Appeals

Candidates are referred to the Academic Assessment Appeals Policy and the Academic Assessment Appeals Procedures.

Course Progression

Candidates are referred to the Course Progression Rule and the Course Progression Procedures.

Improper Conduct

Candidates are referred to the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Rule and the Student Coursework Academic Misconduct Procedures.

Course Aims

This is a coursework and research-based program designed to equip agricultural scientists with specialist professional knowledge in conceptual, scientific and technical competencies related to food and fibre production and land management. Specialisation in a discipline is available through the completion of the research project.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate specialised knowledge of agriculture that includes the understanding of recent developments;
  2. demonstrate advanced knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to agriculture;
  3. demonstrate specialised technical, field and/or laboratory skills relevant to specialist areas/disciplines in the field of agricultural science;
  4. apply highly developed skills in written and oral scientific communication to demonstrate independence of thought and to transmit complex knowledge and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  5. generate and evaluate complex information applying creative skills to a practical problem(s) contributing to the established body of knowledge to inform professional practice;
  6. conduct an investigation and solve scientific problems using a range of methods, and apply appropriate and/or theoretical techniques;
  7. negotiate, plan, design and execute a research-based project, analyse data and provide a written report or thesis on the methodology and outcomes in an appropriate format;
  8. demonstrate an advanced level of independence and accountability of professional practice or scholarship; and
  9. interpret and apply scientific principles to the management of agricultural problems, and where applicable, in line with the regulatory frameworks.
Graduate Attributes
Knowledge of a Discipline

Students will be required to read literature on practical, conceptual and theoretical aspects of agricultural science and management and are provided with the opportunity to obtain specialist knowledge in a selected discipline through an independent research project or capstone unit activity. Agricultural systems are part of the biosphere, the global perspective is drawn upon in all areas involved with understanding, applying and evaluating agricultural information. Knowledge is built upon from information gathered from agricultural systems throughout the world. Thus teaching will draw upon case studies and examples from a range of countries. Students develop the global context of the discipline and its ability to minimise or solve problems. Interaction with students from all over Australia and overseas will assist in developing students' understanding of global issues.

Communication Skills

Students will be required to express well-organised, logical and clearly written assessment tasks. There is emphasis on the ability to provide clear and accurate descriptions of environmental issues; on writing reports of technical and scientific investigations; and on presenting critical reviews of knowledge. Students will be exposed to techniques for improved oral and written communication skills throughout the course, with research methods and capstone units providing a focus for these skills.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is taught in the scientific context of researching the issue, formulating hypotheses in environmental science, and drawing conclusions from the results. This will be evident in the research capstone unit or research thesis. Problem solving skills are also developed in field and laboratory settings where students decide the best approach to performing tasks. This will prepare students for dealing with and solving high level and complex real-world problems that arise in environmental science and management.

Information Literacy

Students will be taught how to access the literature, especially online resources, how to evaluate the robustness of literature sources, discrimination skills, and how to critique available information. Students will plan and execute a high level research capacity in written assignments, including a research methods and research capstone units and research thesis, and utilise a wide range of data resources in such a way that others can learn from them.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

Students are taught ethical practices in relation to the discipline, including respecting intellectual property rights, ethical behaviour in fieldwork and assessment tasks, and honesty and trust as the basis of the cooperative endeavour of science. Students will be encouraged to act ethically and be socially responsible. These are underlying principles of the discipline of environmental science which reduce, minimise or prevent harm to the environment and its multiple inhabitants. Legal obligations and responsibility will also be integrated into the teaching content.

Lifelong Learning

Students will develop the ability to identify, evaluate and implement personal learning strategies and/or study skills in pursuit of ongoing personal and professional development. Students will continually develop the ability to be responsive to change, have a high-level of personal autonomy and conduct independent research that will be useful to them in a professional workplace.

Independence and Collaboration

Students are encouraged and taught to develop independence of thought and action via critical literature reviews and reports. Teamwork is used in classes at all levels, especially in practical work in the field and laboratory. Students develop the skills to work cooperatively to define and achieve common goals, to take initiative and to assume responsibility for tasks. Students will learn in a professional forum to discuss, calmly and rationally, ideas and concepts, sometimes controversial and sometimes from different points of view. This, in addition to the ability to use the language of the discipline in reasoned argument, is one of the aims of online discussions.

How to Apply

Domestic Students

All domestic students apply direct to UNE

For more information, click here

International Students

International students apply direct to UNE through UNE International

For more information, click here

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