RDEV40490 Sustainable Agriculture

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module will introduce students to the concepts of sustainability and sustainable agriculture. It will examine the key animal and crop production practices associated with sustainable agriculture as well as systems of natural resource management, including water, soil, forestry and biodiversity which underpin sustainable agricultural systems. It will also examine the institutional environment affecting sustainable agriculture including the role of policy measures and extension as drivers or obstacles to achieving the goals of sustainable agriculture.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module participants will be able to: explain the key elements of sustainable agricultural systems; analyse agricultural systems including traditional, industrial, and organic agriculture; understand the critical role of soil management and nutrition in sustainable agriculture; understand the role of waste management in sustainable agriculture; understand sustainable animal production and crop production (incl. biofuels) systems; understand the roles of water management, forest management and biodiversity in sustainable agriculture; and analyse the institutional environment associated with supporting sustainable agriculture including public and private extension systems.

Indicative Module Content:

The main topics addressed are:
Basic principles and key issues in sustainable agriculture
Ecosystem Functions
Agricultural Systems (crops and animals)
Renewable Energy
Knowledge systems and institutions

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The approach to teaching and learning for this module combines: online classes and discussions; on-campus tutorials; critical writing; case-based learning; and student presentations. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Group Project: Group presentation and report on selected case example of sustainable agriculture Week 9 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment: Individual essay - Discussion on institutions for sustainable agriculture Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment: Individual essay on key concepts in sustainable agriculture Week 2 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment: Individual essay on role of biodiversity in sustainable agriculture Week 5 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Written feedback (incl. grade) on individual assignments will be provided individually to students, post assessment. Students will have the opportunity to arrange a one-to-one meeting with the module co-ordinator to discuss the feedback provided. Group assignment feedback will be provided in summary form to the entire class groups and each group will be provided written feedback with grade.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Helen Sheridan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12 Mon 09:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 Mon 09:00 - 12:50