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New science degree offers flexibility for environment and agriculture

Media release

C241/10

Curtin University has re-structured its Bachelor of Science degree offering for 2011, providing a wider choice, with more options and greater flexibility to students.

The new degree allows students to focus their studies primarily on one area of science (by completing a single extended major) or to study more than one area of science by completing a double major.

The Department of Environment and Agriculture offers Bachelor of Science students complementary majors in Agriculture, Environmental Biology and Coastal Zone Management, which can be studied in the single major or double major mode.

“Specialists in the environmental and agricultural fields are in high demand,” Professor Mark Gibberd, Head of the Department of Environment and Agriculture said.

“Graduates are needed to meet the current challenges we are faced with in relation to environmental protection, sustainable food production, diminishing resources and the need for sustainable management practices.”

The new course structure provides students with greater flexibility.

“If students are passionate about agriculture, biology, conserving biodiversity and the environment, or management of the coastal zone, then we can offer a degree with a strong practical emphasis, providing the opportunity to work with related industries and organisations.”

Professor Gibberd said strong cohorts of current students are electing to enrol in the double major of coastal zone management and environmental biology.

“This combination generates graduates with a high level of understanding of the natural processes and human impacts on the coastal zone and graduates are highly sought after by the oil and gas industries, state and local government agencies, and companies responsible for managing the coastal areas of Australia and other parts of the world.”

Careers in agriculture also continue to gain momentum as food production and population pressures intensify. Graduates from Curtin’s agriculture and agribusiness programs have always enjoyed very high levels of employment on completion and there is a well recognised lack of graduates in agriculture.

“Agriculture is one of the few careers in which opportunities exist to be practically involved from the farm production level — grain, livestock, horticulture — through to plant breeding, precision agriculture, pest and disease management and food technology,” Professor Gibberd said.

Students studying the agriculture major can also select agribusiness as a second major and graduate with a Bachelor of Agribusiness. The Bachelor of Agribusiness has previously been delivered by Curtin University at the Muresk campus. The new program offers students the opportunity to study within both the School of Science and the Curtin Business School at the Bentley Campus. 

Contacts:

Professor Mark Gibberd
Head of Department of Environment and Agriculture, School of Science, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 7907; Email: m.gibberd@curtin.edu.au