AGRI13001 - Social Licence to Operate

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit introduces the principles and practices relevant to the social licence to operate in the agricultural industry. You will explore how agricultural industries are dealing with the increase in global food and fibre demand while facing social and political scrutiny to cease or alter certain practices. In this unit you will examine how the agricultural industry can respond to these pressures to maintain their social licence to operate. You will use case studies to consider a range of current and emerging social licence challenges in agriculture such as animal husbandry practices, water use and contamination, environmental stewardship and the use of agri-chemicals. You will gain an understanding of the levels of the social licence to operate and the tools to measure this. You will also learn how to develop a plan for an agricultural business which will allow them to maintain their social licence to operate in a changing world.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Completion of at least 16 units (96 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 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 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. Group Discussion 30%
2. Essay 30%
3. Presentation and 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 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 66.67% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 23.08% 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: Student Unit Evaluation
Podcasts require transcripts
The podcast resources for this unit should be accompanied by transcripts for students to read or follow.
Action Taken
This is a lengthy process and will be finalised by the 2024 offering.
Source: Student Unit Evaluation
A need to further demonstrate the relevance of the unit to the degree
While learning material, especially in the first few weeks, emphasizes the importance of the social licence to operate as an increasingly concept, attempts should be made to emphasize this further in assessment. In future iterations Assessment 2, Essay, should be adjusted to include discussion of the financial and regulatory dimensions of the social licence to operate.
Action Taken
Students were asked to respond directly to the question "Do agricultural industries need to consider their social licence to operate?" In this offering, all but one student responded positively to this question. Financial and regulatory dimensions of the social licence to operate was included in Assessment 2 through the marking rubric. So too were these dimensions discussed throughout the term in describing the financial risk of not responding to community demands (with a particular focus in week 1 on the case of the shift in market share in eggs – free range vs caged eggs and also with an examination of the Meat Industry Strategic Plan’s reference to the “cost of doing nothing” in the social licence to operate space). From a regulatory perspective, the unit also examined the mechanisms through which regulations emerge when industries are unable to regulate themselves or address social licence issues, with consideration particularly in the water and pesticide spaces.
Source: Student Unit Evaluation
Refining of podcasts
The podcast resources should be reviewed and a plan for continual improvement should be outlined and implemented.
Action Taken
The unit resources and podcast are being continually improved.
Source: Student feedback
One student found the research requirements of Assessment 1 to be too burdensome.
Students should be reminded that the extent of research and the length of response required for this assessment is commensurate with the relative weighting of the assessment. Clear word count guidelines should be reiterated. For the most part, students adhere to expectations for this assessment and respond to questions/statements accordingly but a general reminder will be helpful.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Debate the social implications of contentious agricultural practices
  2. Explain the principles of a social licence to operate
  3. Evaluate the social obligations of individuals and businesses in the agricultural supply chain
  4. Apply the concepts and principles of a social licence to operate to a business case in agriculture
  5. Develop a plan for an agricultural business to maintain their social licence to operate.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Group Discussion
2 - Essay
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
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