Agricultural studies is a unique course offered by a limited number of Queensland State Schools.

Junior Secondary

Agriculture is offered as an elective in Junior secondary.  Agricultural Science and Agricultural Practices aim to introduce students to the study of Agriculture.

Agricultural Science

Agricultural Science enables students to explore ways to manage natural resources such as plants, animals, climate, soil and water sustainably. The scope of the subject is broad. Because of the fundamental importance of agriculture to humans, this subject is relevant to all students. The electives concentrate on Animal Husbandry (school-based poultry and farm animal rearing projects) and Horticultural principles (Home garden project). This course is designed to challenge the more academic student who may wish to pursue Agriculture and associated Authority subjects such as Biology, Science 21 and Geography in Year 11 and beyond.

Agricultural Practices

Year 9 elective Duration - 1 semester

This course is designed to meet the needs and interests of students who would like to undertake a more practical subject. Students focus on Animal Husbandry principles (design a backyard chicken coop and a special 10-week program rearing young calves).

Year 10 elective Duration – 1 year

This elective is designed to give students a solid background into a wide range of practical experiences. Students will take part in the following activities as part of this course:

  • Beekeeping management practices
  • Sheep production and management (welfare and health of animals) – sheep husbandry practices
  • Plant nursery practices including landscape design and paving
  • Agricultural industry reviews

Senior Secondary

Agricultural Science (General Subject [ATAR])



Agricultural Science is an interdisciplinary science subject suited to students who are interested in the application of science in a real-world context. They understand the importance of using science to predict possible effects of human and other activity, and to develop management plans or alternative technologies that minimise these effects and provide for a more sustainable future. Agricultural Science provides students with a suite of skills and understandings that are valuable to a wide range of further study pathways and careers. A study of Agricultural Science can allow students to transfer learned skills to studies of other subject disciplines in the school environment.

Agricultural Science provides opportunities for students to engage with agricultural production systems as they constantly adapt to meet the changing needs of society. As human activities and resource demands increase and diversify, agricultural scientists, managers and producers encounter opportunities and challenges associated with the sustainable management of resources and production of food and fibre.

In Unit 1, students examine the plant and animal science required to understand agricultural systems, their interactions and their components. In Unit 2, students examine resources and their use and management in agricultural enterprises, the implications of using and consuming these resources, and associated management approaches. In Unit 3, students investigate how agricultural production systems are managed through an understanding of plant and animal physiology, and how they can be manipulated to ensure productivity and sustainability. In Unit 4, students consider how environmental, social and financial factors can be used to evaluate production systems, and how research and innovation can be used and managed to improve food and fibre production.

Agricultural Science aims to develop students':

  • interest in Agricultural Science and their appreciation of how interdisciplinary knowledge can be used to understand contemporary issues in food and fibre production
  • understanding and appreciation of agriculture as a complex and innovative system, and how it relates to sustainable production decisions now and into the future
  • understanding that agricultural science knowledge is used in a variety of contexts and is influenced by social, economic, cultural and ethical considerations
  • ability to conduct a variety of field, research and laboratory investigations involving collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, and interpretation of evidence
  • ability to critically evaluate agricultural science concepts, interpretations, claims and conclusions, with reference to evidence
  • ability to communicate understandings and justify findings and conclusions related to agricultural production systems, using appropriate representations, modes and genres.


Agricultural Practices (Applied Subject [*ATAR]


Agricultural Practices provides opportunities for students to explore, experience and learn knowledge and practical skills valued in agricultural workplaces and other settings. Through these learning experiences, students build their understanding of expectations for work in agricultural settings and develop an understanding of career pathways, jobs and other opportunities available for participating in and contributing to agricultural activities.

Agricultural Practices includes two areas of study, 'Animal studies' and 'Plant studies', which focus on building knowledge and skills suited to practical situations in agricultural workplaces. Schools decide whether to include one or both of the areas of study in their course of study. Learning in the selected areas of study is delivered through modules of work set in specific animal and plant contexts, such as poultry, vegetables or conservation areas.

'Safety and management practices' are embedded across both areas of study and focus on building knowledge and skills in working safely, effectively and efficiently in practical agricultural situations. These practices include skills needed to work effectively as an individual and as part of a team, to build relationships with peers, colleagues and wider networks, to collaborate and communicate appropriately with others, and to plan, organise and complete tasks on time. These skills are valued in all settings where people work together, and therefore position students for successful transition to work, training and other collaborative environments.

In the course of study, students learn the core topics for the included area/s of study and 'Safety and management practices', plus at least two elective topics by midway through the course (end of Unit 2) and again by the end of the course (end of Unit 4).


A course of study in Agricultural Practices can establish a basis for further education, training and employment in agriculture, aquaculture, food technology, environmental management and agribusiness. The subject also provides a basis for participating in and contributing to community associations, events and activities, such as agricultural shows. 

Last reviewed 31 May 2021
Last updated 31 May 2021