More Information

More information about the Bachelor of Agriculture available via the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences

Dr Nerissa Hannink
+61 3 8344 8151
0430 588 055

Department: 
Media

The University of Melbourne has today launched its new Bachelor of Agriculture degree, designed with industry experts to meet the high demand for agricultural scientists and prepare them for what is predicted to be a hugely productive century for Australian agriculture.

The world’s population is projected to reach around 8 billion by 2025, with millions of people likely to move into middle class by 2030.

Australia now exports more than $40 billion of agricultural products per year and increased demand for food across the world will create new export opportunities for the Australian food industry.

Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Dean Ken Hinchcliff said that following engagement with industry, employers, graduates and alumni, the University of Melbourne has redesigned its Bachelor of Agriculture curriculum to ensure graduates are work-ready for this agricultural boom.

“There are more than four vacant jobs per agricultural science graduate, and the sector supports 1.6 million Australian jobs when related industries are taken into account, around half of which are in cities,” Professor Hinchcliff said.

“Currently, Melbourne’s Bachelor of Agriculture is experiencing the most significant growth of any agriculture program in Australia.

“Building on that, our new curriculum will enable students to develop an extra depth of expertise in agricultural economics, animal science or plant and soil science and employ these skills in external industry placements and cross-disciplinary projects that will ask them to examine the big issues facing agriculture today.”

Features of the University of Melbourne’s new Bachelor of Agriculture:

  •  Specialisation from three majors:
  • Animal Science
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Economics

 External placements to understand broader industry context 


  • Integrated cross-disciplinary subject at every year level 

  • Communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills 


 ‘Dookie semester’- hands-on experience in latest precision farming technologies at the 
University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus, and agricultural science hub. 


Professor Hinchcliff said the University of Melbourne’s Dookie campus provides agricultural science students with a uniquely valuable experience at a state-of-the-art working farm. 
“Dookie sits at the intersection of Victoria’s prime livestock, orchard and cropping land and near major agricultural support industries like processing, manufacturing and transport,” he said. 

        
“No other Australian university teaches agricultural science at both a city and rural campus. Dookie is the jewel in the crown of our agricultural teaching and research, and the students who learn there will come away from it with an enviable wealth of on-the-ground experience.”

Communication, teamwork and the ability to work with people with different technical backgrounds are commonly referred to as ‘soft skills.’ In recent years, employers have placed a new emphasis on hiring employees with these competencies, particularly in science-oriented fields like agriculture.

Nigel Crawley, Director of agricultural recruitment firm Rimfire Resources, said graduates applying for a role can differentiate themselves from other applicants with industry knowledge and ‘job ready’ skills like communication and work experience.

“When agribusiness organisations assess graduates, quite often the soft skills and competencies of individuals are the determining factors that influence their hiring decisions,” he said.

“From experience, when you interview the students who choose to develop these soft skills versus those who don’t, they stand out a mile.”

Course details:
Students will spend the first year of the new degree building a foundation of knowledge in the agricultural sciences. In the second year students will select a major from Animals Science, Plant and Soil Science or Economics. While most of the degree is taught at the University of Melbourne’s city campus in Parkville, students have the opportunity to spend six months living and working at the Dookie campus.

Second and third-year students will complete cross-disciplinary projects using the combined expertise they have gained from their majors in Animals Science, Plant and Soil Science or Economics. Students from each of the three majors will develop their problem-solving and communication as they work in teams to develop solutions to issues facing the Australian agricultural sector. These will range from increasing animal productivity in a region to developing more sustainable farming methods.

Bachelor of Agriculture graduates who have majored in Animal Science and meet subject score requirements can also gain entry to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
An Honours year is available for eligible students, and graduates can also continue their studies with a Masters or PhD program.