Course code PAE301

PAE301 Agroecology: Working with the complexity of farming systems

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2014 - 2015 .

Course responsible: Geir Lieblein
Teachers: Tor Arvid Breland
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Department of Plant Sciences
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:

Minimum 5, maximum 20 students.

Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: <p>Annually</p><p><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/></p>
First time: Study year 2004-2005
Preferential right:

Master´s degree students in Agroecology.

Course contents:

With a concrete case as starting point, the course deals with structure and functioning of agroecosystems as whole entities seen from different perspectives. Examples of such are ecological, economic, social, time and spatial scale, and organisational level perspectives. The students will also learn about and practice methods for describing and analysing the case and its goals, and they are expected to suggest improvements.

Learning outcome:

After completing the course the students should be able to: 

  • Explain key concepts and principles regarding structure and functioning agroecosystems 
  • Give examples of how goals and value bases influences such systems 
  • Give examples of methods and tools for describing, analysing and improving agroecosystems

Learning activities:

The course is web-based, and faculty resources and students will be located in several countries. In order to effectively deal with the interdisciplinary nature of agroecology, teachers from the Nordic network of agroecology and ecological agriculture (Agroasis) will provide guidance and feedback to the students.

Teaching support:

Provided at course start.


Bachelor´s degree or its equivalent in agriculture, plant science, economics, natural resources, human nutrition or other relevant social or natural sciences.

Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:

Details for the portfolio assessment will be given at course start. Students will be assessed on written assignments, on understanding of the materials, on ability to conceptualise the course content and on making application to the case and to their current local situations. Their papers, short assignments, and contributions to discussions will be the basis for a grade.

Nominal workload:

150 hours.

Entrance requirements:

Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)

Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Course registration before the 7th of January 2015. The course is a part of the Nordic MSc in Agroecology and forms a basis regarding concepts and methodology used in the course PAE302.

An external examiner approves the course plan, literature and chosen parts of the student portfolio.

Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / Ikke bestått