VCE | Agricultural and Horticultural Studies


Agricultural and Horticultural Pathways

Please Note: The 2020 Study Design for VCE Agricultural and Horticultural Studies will be released by VCAA in the future, so some Areas of Study may change.

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Agricultural and Horticultural Studies | Unit 1

CHANGE AND OPPORTUNITY

OVERVIEW

In this unit you will develop your understanding of Australia’s agricultural and horticultural industries and research the opportunities and practical realities of working in the sector. You will consider sources of food and fibre indigenous to Victoria prior to European settlement, and current and past perceptions of Australian agricultural and horticultural industries.

You will explore contemporary career pathways and professional roles, with a focus on innovation and creative problem solving in the face of change and challenge.

You will seek to understand socio-cultural influences on food and fibre practices, and best practice in agriculture and horticulture in terms of climate zones, soil quality, plant and animal selection, workplace health and safety, and the collection and analysis of quality-assurance data. You will undertake practical tasks reflecting best-practice understandings.

UNIT PREREQUISITES

Year 10 Agriculture and Horticulture

AREAS OF STUDY

  • Food and Fibre Industries

  • In this area of study, you are introduced to agriculture and horticulture as industries that are valued by Australians for cultural and social reasons, as well as being vital to Australia’s economic prosperity. You will discuss change as a significant concept in agriculture and horticulture, and recognise how this underpins the importance of creative and innovative practices. You will investigate agricultural and horticultural production in past and present perspectives, from Victoria’s first peoples prior to European settlement to current industries and career opportunities.

  • Food and Fibre Productions

  • You will explore systems and production cycles, best practice for health and safety, and the factors that influence the growth and development of plants and animals. Through practical tasks, you will make decisions about testing soils and selecting suitable plants and animals. You will also consider tools for and methods of testing and measuring quality and improvement in agricultural and horticultural practices.

UNIT ASSESSMENT

Assessment tasks are drawn from tasks such as annotated visual displays, website or visual presentations, tests, and written or oral reports.

PATHWAYS

Unit 1 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies may be completed in Year 10. Year 10 AgHort may be used in place of Units 1 and/or 2. Units 3 and 4 may be done without having done Unit 2.

 
 

 
 
 
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Agricultural and Horticultural Studies | Unit 2

GROWING PLANTS AND ANIMALS

OVERVIEW

In this unit you will research plant and animal nutrition, growth and reproduction. You will develop an understanding of the conditions in which plants and animals grow and reproduce, and of related issues and challenges. You will evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of agricultural or horticultural practices.

You will investigate the structure, function, nutrition and growth of plants. You will explore animal nutrition and digestion, and growth and development, and make comparisons between production methods. You will research reproductive processes and technologies for both plants and animals within the contexts of food and fibre production. You will undertake practical tasks relating to the growth and management of plants and animals.

UNIT PREREQUISITES

  • Year 10 Agriculture and Horticulture

  • Unit 1 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies

AREAS OF STUDY

Plant Nutrition, Growth and Reproduction

  • This area of study focuses on plant production in agriculture and/or horticulture. You will investigate challenges and issues that affect practices and decisions in plant production, and develop an understanding of plant structure, function, nutrition, growth and reproduction. Practical tasks will focus on aspects of plant propagation and/or growth.

Animal Nutrition, Growth and Reproduction

  • You will investigate challenges and issues that affect practices and decisions in managing animal production. You will study animal nutrition, digestion, growth, development and reproduction, including principles of genetics and selective breeding, and the use of reproductive technologies.

UNIT ASSESSMENT

Assessment tasks are drawn from tasks such as annotated visual displays, website or visual presentations, tests, and written or oral reports

PATHWAYS

Unit 1 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies may be completed in Year 10. Year 10 AgHort may be used in place of Units 1 and/or 2. Units 3 and 4 may be done without having done Unit 2.


 
 

 
 
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Agricultural and Horticultural Studies | Unit 3

SECURING THE FUTURE

OVERVIEW

This unit focuses on the role of research and data, innovation and technology in Australia’s food and fibre industries. You will look at practices that help horticultural and agricultural enterprises to succeed in the modern world, locally and globally.

You will research Australia’s past responses to such challenges, analysing responses leading to successful outcomes as well as those with unforeseen consequences. You will consider the everyday role of innovation and technology in agriculture and horticulture and research the impacts of new and emerging developments over the past six years.

You will explore the influence of market demands and social expectations as drivers of change. Emphasis is placed on the importance of biosecurity: the protection of agricultural and horticultural industries against pests, diseases and weeds, and measures to combat the serious threat posed by biological resistances. You will undertake practical tasks reflecting awareness of innovative, sustainable and safe agricultural and/or horticultural practices.

PREREQUISITES

Unit 1 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies is recommended.

 

AREAS OF STUDY

Innovations and Solutions

  • This area of study focuses on the dynamic and innovative nature of Australia’s food and fibre production industries. You will reflect on the rate of change, the rise of new challenges, and the sector’s ever-increasing engagement with innovation and technology. You will inquire into the broad role of innovation and technology in food and fibre production, and consider the impacts of new and emerging tools and applications, as well as innovative research projects. You will reflect on past initiatives, contemporary responses to consumer concerns and ways to evaluate the effectiveness of particular innovations in agricultural and horticultural practices.

Risks and Resilience

  • In this area of study you will focus on biosecurity, the protection of agricultural and horticultural industries against pests, diseases and weeds, and measures to combat the serious threat posed by biological resistances. In doing this, you will develop your understanding of specific pests, diseases and weeds that threaten Victorian agriculture and horticulture. Emphasis is placed on principles of integrated pest and weed management.

UNIT ASSESSMENT

  • Unit 3 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 30%

  • Unit 4 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 30%

  • Unit 3 & 4 examination 40%

Assessment tasks are drawn from tasks such as an annotated visual display, video, podcast, tests, short written report, oral report, research report or practical demonstrations.

PATHWAYS

Unit 1 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies may be completed in Year 10. Year 10 AgHort may be used in place of Units 1 and/or 2. Units 3 and 4 may be done without having done Unit 2.

 
 

 
 
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Agricultural and Horticultural Studies | Unit 4

Sustainable food and fibre production

OVERVIEW

You will examine sustainability in terms of land management, as well as its role in food and fibre industries. Sustainability is a holistic concept with environmental, economic and social dimensions. You will research the effects of climate change on food and fibre production through case studies.

You will investigate environmental degradation and approaches to sustainable land management and rehabilitation, studying ecosystems, the importance of biodiversity and the applicability of environmental modification techniques. Within the context of agricultural and/or horticultural practices, sustainability is viewed as both a challenge and an opportunity, and you will consider it across the entire production chain from resource suppliers through to consumers. You will research strategies for securing sustainable markets, for adding value to primary produce, and for ensuring and promoting the high quality of Australian-grown products.

You will undertake practical tasks reflecting all dimensions of sustainable management of agricultural and/or horticultural practices as well as ethical considerations.

PREREQUISITES

Unit 3 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies.

AREAS OF STUDY

Sustainable Land Management

  • In this area of study, you will examine sustainable land management, including property management, with a focus on environmental degradation and climate change. You will investigate appropriate and sustainable strategies, adaptations and modifications, evaluating associated safety and risk factors. Comparisons are made between natural and managed ecosystems, with inquiry into the significance of biodiversity for sustainable food and fibre production. You will research and apply techniques for testing and monitoring of environmental health in agricultural and/or horticultural contexts.

Sustainable Business Practices

  • In this area of study you will examine business challenges and opportunities across the food and fibre supply chain, with a focus on sustainability. You will consider how sustainability influences the decisions of agricultural and/or horticultural producers. You will consider the role of strategic business planning and the effective use of marketing and communications tools. You will research quality assurance programs and government regulation relating to sustainable food and fibre industries.

UNIT ASSESSMENT

  • Unit 3 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 30%

  • Unit 4 School assessed coursework (SAC's) 30%

  • Unit 3 & 4 examination 40%

Assessment tasks are drawn from tasks such as an annotated visual display, video, podcast, tests, short written report, oral report, research report or practical demonstrations. Both Areas of Study contribute equally to school assessed coursework.

PATHWAYS

Unit 1 Agricultural and Horticultural Studies may be completed in Year 10. Year 10 AgHort may be used in place of Units 1 and/or 2. Units 3 and 4 may be done without having done Unit 2.