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Food Production for Urban Landscapes (HORT90038)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Burnley)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeHORT90038
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

In this subject you will learn about the history of urban agriculture in countries around the world and explore the various roles of urban agriculture in modern-day cities. Given the nature of the subject, a wide diversity of topics will be covered including but not limited to: plant growth requirements, agricultural inputs (such as water and nutrients), soil contamination, pests and diseases, urban-specific production methods, design and management of community gardens and edible landscapes, mainstream and alternative crops (fruit and vegetables), agro-ecology principles and practices ; and the economic value of residential food gardens. You will be required to implement and maintain an allocated crop plot in the Burnley Field Station throughout semester. Field visits will also form part of this subject.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Ability to identify a range of different urban agriculture production methods and their various risks and benefits in particular settings, drawing on examples from Australia and overseas.
  • You should also be able to discuss the social, economic and environmental role of urban agriculture and its potential contribution to sustainable cities of the future
  • Understand how to grow common and alternative food crops in an open field allotment setting, including experience in working from a plan, plant nutrition, drip irrigation for food crops etc
  • A broad understanding of the historical drivers of urban agriculture and the current trends in countries around the world.
  • A broad understanding of the role of extension and facilitation principles and practices in communicating and promoting technical and social aspects of urban agriculture in a variety of settings eg. Schools, community gardens etc

Generic skills

  • Sourcing, interpreting and applying information from written and electronic sources to individual tasks;
  • Use scientific and technical literature to answer specific questions;
  • Time management and the meeting of deadlines;
  • Report on an issue using rigorous and objective analysis;
  • Retrieval, from a range of paper-based and electronic sources, of information required to develop understanding of a topic, and the use of this information, with appropriate recognition, in report writing.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

This course requires all students to actively and safely participate in field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Student Equity and Disability Support.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • 1000 word technical report due end of week 7 (30%)
  • 10 minute oral test in week 11 (10%)
  • 3000 word report/essay due end of week 12 (60%)

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorChris Williams
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Burnley
    Contact hours4 hours of weekly classes = 48 hours total
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours. This subject runs in Semester One at the Burnley Campus in Richmond. It comprises lectures, a practical crop plot program in the Burnley Field Station (including several propagation sessions in the nursery) and field visits.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There is no prescribed text for this subject

    Recommended texts and other resources

    There is no single text for this subject, although it is highly recommended that students familiarise themselves with the topics to be covered. The following text provides a useful introduction and is available in its entirety free on-line (http://www.ruaf.org/node/961): René van Veenhuizen (2006). Cities Farming for the Future - Urban Agriculture for Green and Productive Cities. Published by RUAF Foundation, IDRC and IIRR. A reading list will also be provided on LMS.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 21 August 2019