AGRI12002 - Weeds, Pests and Plant Diseases

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Sustainable management of pest animals, plant diseases and weeds is paramount to successfully managing agricultural and natural environments. This unit introduces you to the principles of plant protection and the relevant foundation disciplines of weed science, plant pathology (the science of plant diseases) and entomology (insect science). You will learn key aspects of biology and identification of weeds, pests and plant diseases. You will be introduced to ecological principles of their interactions with agricultural and natural environments. Guided by this fundamental knowledge you will understand, plan and evaluate protection strategies for a range of agricultural and natural environments.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite 48 Credit Points

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2022

Term 2 - 2023 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 40%
2. Written Assessment 20%
3. Written Assessment 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 40.91% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: "Have your say" feedback
The "scientific and knowledge aspects of the unit" and the "super interesting and informative" topics were pointed out as among the best aspects of this unit.
The feedback shows that students appreciate even more challenging scientific concepts, and confirms this lecturer's approach to build industry-relevant knowledge upon a firm scientific foundation.
Action Taken
Industry relevant knowledge was presented throughout the unit.
Source: "Have your say" feedback
One suggestion for improvement was for more smaller assessments instead of the very large 2nd assessment.
From the lecturer's point of view I agree with this. As a 'consultancy report' on a real-world case study the 2nd assessment was authentic and asked students to integrate and apply the knowledge acquired all through the unit. Unfortunately it was therefore (1) rather large, (2) only feasible as a final assessment (which limits feedback opportunities and adds to the usual end of term assessment load) and (3) did not explicitly encourage earlier engagement with the unit. Assessments should therefore be redesigned to be spread out more evenly during the unit.
Action Taken
Changes were made to assessment structure.
Source: "Have your say" feedback
Physical examination of weeds, pests and diseases would be very insightful.
This was already brought up last year and resulted in the recommendation to add a practical component in form of a residential school with laboratory and excursion components. The recommendation was not implemented this year due to COVID restrictions, but should be considered in a renewed unit.
Action Taken
A residential school was implemented in 2021.
Source: SUTE
Students appreciated the changes made to assessment tasks, as well as how these were linked to the residential school.
Further iterations of this unit should continue this focus on assessment.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE
The residential school was highly regarded but students would like to see more field work and more flexibility around residential school arrangements.
A practical component should be continued within this unit. It should be further considered as to the possibility of this being flexible, if possible.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Identify major weeds, pests and plant diseases
  2. Explain the fundamental biology and ecology of weeds, pests and plant diseases
  3. Evaluate and propose protection strategies for agricultural and natural systems from weeds, pests and plant diseases.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10