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Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture

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Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture

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This professional doctorate involves one-third coursework comprising the Master of Sustainable Agriculture and two-thirds research dissertations. Students' research will be supervised by leading researchers from the University and be applied in nature.

  • Why study this course?

    The Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture is a research degree that develops advanced inquiry skills and critical understanding in sustainable agriculture, particularly through a major piece of supervised research in an area of professional practice of the candidate's choice. It provides for the academic and professional development of applicants working in the broad area of the agriculture while allowing significant flexibility to accommodate individual student, industry and/or professional requirements. The course provides a structured learning environment enabling candidates to contribute in a significant way to the knowledge and practice in their profession. Candidates complete course-work and an applied research program that addresses an identified aspect of sustainable agriculture. The Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture is assessed by a range of assignments during the coursework phase and an externally examined thesis for the research component.

    Students will learn to collaborate with others in learning, undertake cooperative project work with farmers and others in the rural sector, and integrate their studies in ecologically sustainable agricultural production systems, business management, self-management and social behaviour. Students graduate with enhanced analytical and creative thinking skills through the application of their learning to real world issues and become autonomous or self-directed learners who are competent in research areas relating to their choice of study.

  • Subjects

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    The Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture will consist of 192 credit points, of which 32 points will be coursework, 32 points will be a broad investigation of the research topic and proposal for applied investigation, and 128 points will be research thesis.

    Coursework component (32 points)
    AGR722 Readings in Agriculture (8pts)
    AGR775 Sustainable Agriculture Issues and Viewpoints (8pts)
    AGR795 Managing Agro-Ecosystems (8pts)
    AGR580 Research Methods (8pts)

    Broad investigation/proposal component (32 points)
    AGR712 Proposal for Applied Research/Investigation (32 points, 2 sessions)

    Research Component
    AGR715 Sustainable Agriculture Thesis (Full-Time) (128 points), or
    AGR716 Sustainable Agriculture Thesis (Part-Time) (128 points)

    Enrolment pattern

    Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture

    Full-time enrolment pattern

    Session 1
    AGR722 Readings in Agriculture (8pts)
    AGR580 Research Methods (8pts)
    AGR712 Proposal for Applied Research/Investigation (32 points, commenced)

    Session 2
    AGR775 Sustainable Agriculture Issues and Viewpoints (8pts)
    AGR795 Managing Agro-Ecosystems (8pts)
    AGR712 Proposal for Applied Research/Investigation (32 points, completed)

    Session 3, 4, 5, 6
    AGR715 Sustainable Agriculture Thesis (Full-Time) (128 points)

    Part-time enrolment pattern

    Session 1

    AGR580 Research Methods (8pts)
    AGR722 Readings in Agriculture (8pts)

    Session 2
    AGR775 Sustainable Agriculture Issues and Viewpoints (8pts)
    AGR795 Managing Agro-Ecosystems (8pts)

    Session 3
    AGR712 Proposal for Applied Research/Investigation (32 points, commenced)

    Session 4
    AGR712 Proposal for Applied Research/Investigation (32 points, completed)

    Session 5-12
    AGR716 Sustainable Agriculture Thesis (Part-Time) (128 points)

  • Residential schools

    The following subjects may have a residential school component:

  • Admission information

    Basis of Approval for Admission to the Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture
    The RAC shall base its decision on admission to a proposed Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture candidature upon the following evidence, that:

    • the proposed supervisors are sufficiently expert in the field of sustainable agriculture research, and have the time and commitment to be able to provide appropriate supervision, and that adequate physical resources are available;
    • the applicant has the background and ability to undertake the proposed course (refer also to Entry Qualifications, below);
    • the applicant has given the necessary commitment to work regularly on the approved program of study and research and maintain regular contact with the supervisor(s).

    Entry Qualifications for Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture Degree
    The entry qualifications required for admission to a Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture program are:

    • qualified for the award of a Master by Research; or
    • a Bachelor degree with class 1 or class 2(i) honours from an Australian university or an equivalent overseas tertiary institution, taken over a minimum of four years (full-time equivalent); or
    • qualified for the award of a coursework Master’s degree with a research project and thesis/dissertation component. It is normally expected that a grade equivalent to class 1 or class 2(i) Honours will have been obtained; or
    • other research experience that demonstrate  capacity   to   undertake   research   at   a Doctoral level.



    Intending applicants should contact the Sub-Dean, Graduate Studies to discuss the proposal before submitting the prescribed application form. In addition, applicants must complete a form describing their area of interest, which should accompany their application. Please phone info.csu on 1800 334 733 or email inquiry@csu.edu.au for the contact details of the appropriate person.

    Admission to candidature is subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees - please visit the fees and costs page or contact us for current fee information.

    Tax deduction - in some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.

    Alumni discount

    Already studied with CSU? Our 10% Alumni discount applies to this course!
    Find out more

  • Course details

    Campus locations listed for Online students are purely for administrative purposes and have no relevance to the student experience.

    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession 1Session 2Session 3Admission Code
    DirectOn campusUni WideFPOSYYNITPS
    DirectOn campusUni WideFPPG
    DirectOnlineUni WideRTSYYNETPS
    DirectOnlineUni WideFPOSYYNJTOD
    DirectOnlineUni WideFPPGYYNOTOD

    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate, students must have completed 64 credit points in coursework/proposal subjects, and a thesis or portfolio that complies in full with the relevant regulations (H3: Higher Degree by Research: Examinable Works and Examination Regulations), and through the formal University examination process, is deemed to have met the requirements of a doctoral level degree. To graduate students must demonstrate that they have (a) a relevant depth and breadth of knowledge in the discipline, (b) made an original and significant contribution to the discipline, (c) applied adequate research process and methodology, and (d) produced work that is worthy of formal publication.

  • How to apply
    Supplementary application forms

    Doctor of Sustainable Agriculture Higher Degrees by Research - Additional Information

    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    Apply direct to CSU

    Apply direct to CSU for on campus study at a CSU regional campus, or study by distance education.

    Apply online

    Recruitment agent

    Contact a Recruitment agent in your country who can answer your questions about CSU as well as help with the student visa application process.

    International recruitment agents

    CRICOS Code(s)

    065837F (Uni Wide)

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • About the School

    The School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

    The School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences is the largest and most successful provider of agricultural, horticultural and wine science education supporting rural industries in Australia. Operating out of the Orange and Wagga Wagga campuses, the School comprises of approximately 70 academics, research, technical and administration staff, offering courses and research focus in fields such as agriculture, horticulture, wine making and viticulture. Research is undertaken through key CSU Research Centres, and staff have major involvement in national Cooperative Research Centres – linking universities, government bodies and industry organisations across Australia to focus on national sector-wide issues. The School’s industry linkages ensure courses remain relevant and topical, and that we develop graduates who will make an impact within their profession.

  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

    Throughout their studies, CSU students have a responsibility to continue to develop skills in English Language, literacy and numeracy as appropriate to their discipline. This ongoing development will enable students to effectively participate in their course and graduate as competent professionals.

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