Bachelor of Rural Science

Why study the Bachelor of Rural Science at UNE?

Providing food and fibre for growing populations in Australia and worldwide in a challenging climatic environment demands graduates capable of understanding and integrating whole agricultural systems. This degree produces graduates with the scientific and communication skills and confidence to solve practical agricultural problems at farm, catchment and national level. Students who complete a research project in the fourth year will be considered for the award of Honours.

The degree may be awarded with Honours. The Honours level is based on grades achieved in the fourth year of the degree including RUSC490 which is completed in the final year. The BRurSc(Hons) graduates who achieve the appropriate level of Honours are eligible to apply to enrol for a research Master degree or the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

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

Fully credited exchange programs of one trimester are in place with international universities.

BRurSc graduates are eligible to enrol for a range of Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and course work Master programs.

This course is only offered in part-time mode for online students.

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Career Opportunities

Graduates from this degree can expect to be sought by employers, before completion of their degree, for careers in the following areas: advisory, regulatory and research posts in all agricultural fields in both the private and public sectors, management and consulting in the crop and animal industries, agribusiness, banking and marketing, primary production, government policy, plant and animal breeding, landcare and soil conservation.

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Degree Snapshot


4 Years Full-time
Up to 10 years Part-time



Guaranteed ATAR Selection Rank



Trimester 1, Online
Trimester 1, On Campus
Trimester 2, Online
Trimester 2, On Campus
Trimester 3, Online

Official Abbreviation BRurSc
Course Type Undergraduate
CRICOS Code 006006A
Responsible Campus Admission Period Mode of Study
Armidale Trimester 1 Online
Armidale Trimester 1 On Campus
Armidale Trimester 2 Online
Armidale Trimester 2 On Campus
Armidale Trimester 3 Online
Course Duration
  • 4 Years Full-time
  • Up to 10 years Part-time
Guaranteed ATAR Selection Rank 77.10
Fees CSP / International
For fee information, click here
Total Credit Points 192
How to Apply

All domestic students apply through the link below

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 be qualified for admission (see Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Rule and Admission Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Coursework) Procedures).

Assumed knowledge is any two units of English, Chemistry, Mathematics.

Recommended studies: Biology.

For students without the recommended background knowledge, the School offers introductory units in Chemistry and Mathematics.

Additional Requirements

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

Practical, Clinical or Work Experience

16 weeks of practical industry work experience during university vacation periods. For further information refer to the School of Environmental and Rural Science Practical Experience webpage.

Advanced Standing

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Advanced standing will not be granted for units AGSY410 or RUSC490.


The University offers a number of Faculty/College and country scholarships available to Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Academic Colours

Dioptase (BCC 203)

Further Information

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

Course rules and plans for the Bachelor of Rural Science, 2019, will be available between November and January. Course information relating to other years is available by selecting the year required from the list at the top right hand side of the page.
Course Aims

The Bachelor of Rural Science degree aims to produce graduates with the scientific and communication skills and confidence to solve practical agricultural problems at farm, catchment and national levels. These students should have the ability to apply their knowledge to a diverse range of agricultural and scientific endeavours and to 'problem solve' for resource use issues and technical aspects of food and fibre production. This degree provides a specialist/generalist agricultural training that equips students with the scientific background to solve agricultural and natural resource problems using a systems approach. Students who complete a research project in the fourth year will be considered for the award of Honours. The Bachelor of Rural Science with Honours degree aims to produce graduates with the skills listed above, as well as having knowledge of research principles and methods and the ability to plan and conduct an independent research project.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. BRurSc: demonstrate a coherent understanding of rural science by articulating the methods of rural science and explaining why current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further inquiry and by explaining the role and relevance of rural science in society;
  2. exhibit depth and breadth of knowledge of rural science by demonstrating well-developed knowledge in at least one disciplinary area and by demonstrating knowledge in at least one other disciplinary area;
  3. critically analyse and solve problems in rural science by gathering, synthesising and critically evaluating information from a range of sources, designing and planning an investigation, selecting and applying practical and/or theoretical techniques or tools in order to conduct an investigation and collecting, accurately recording, interpreting and drawing conclusions from data;
  4. be effective communicators of rural science by communicating scientific results, information or arguments, to a range of audiences, for a range of purposes and using a variety of modes; and
  5. be accountable for their own learning and scientific work by being independent and self-directed learners, working effectively, responsibly and safely in an individual or team context, demonstrating knowledge of the regulatory frameworks relevant to their disciplinary area and personally practising ethical conduct.
  6. BRurSc with Honours: conceive, plan and implement an independent programme of research; and
  7. produce a written thesis that demonstrates original thinking, a high level of research skills and the ability to write critically.
Graduate Attributes
Knowledge of a Discipline

Students will develop a strong scientific understanding of practical and theoretical aspects of rural science and management, and a well-developed capacity for analysis. They will obtain knowledge from lectures, reading materials and by direct experience in practicals and field excursions. Students will be expected to know key terms and concepts to the extent that they can demonstrate and apply them in assessments. Knowledge will be assessed in examinations for some units and in online tests, practical tasks, oral presentations, essays and reports. For students completing the degree with Honours, knowledge will be assessed through a literature review and examination of thesis based on an independent research project. Rural science systems are part of the biosphere, the global perspective is drawn upon in all areas involved with understanding, applying and evaluating information related to rural science. Knowledge is built upon from information gathered from rural science 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 are taught and assessed on a range of different communication types appropriate to rural science graduates. There is emphasis on the ability to provide clear and accurate descriptions of issues relating to rural science; on writing reports of technical and scientific investigations; and on presenting critical reviews of knowledge. Within the core and prescribed units communication tasks address a range of different audiences and use oral, written and electronic presentation. Students completing the degree with Honours will be required to complete a well-organised, logical and clearly written research thesis.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is taught in the scientific context of researching the background to a problem, formulating one or more hypotheses in rural science to be tested, and drawing conclusions from the results of those tests. Many practical assignments are based around this approach. 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 real-world problems that arise in rural science and management. For students completing the degree with Honours, conducting an independent research project will require students to develop and answer critical research questions.

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 then practise these skills through the generation of reports, and oral presentations in relation to rural science. Students completing the degree with Honours will be expected to demonstrate high-level research capacity in the production of a research thesis.

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 rural science which enable the production of food and fibre at the same time as protecting the environment. Legal obligations and responsibility will also be integrated into the teaching content.

Lifelong Learning

Students gain confidence in their ability to search for and find sources of information relevant to the discipline. 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.

Independence and Collaboration

Students are encouraged and taught to develop independence of thought and action. 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 through the link below

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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