Engineering II - Engineering Applications

Study agricultural engineering, surveying, earthworks, mechanisation, water management, and more. Learn engineering solutions for more efficient farm operations.

Course CodeBSC205
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn to Solve Land Management Problems with Engineering

  • Learn Problem Solving for Rural Land Management
  • Study farm engineering at home, at your own pace, starting when you want, studying from where you want.
Learn to survey and understand a piece of land, it's topography, environment and soils; and how to apply engineering solutions to the way the land is formed, reformed, farmed, reconstructed or affected in any other way. Learn about the engineering applications that may be applied in modern farm production, to improve work efficiencies, and farm sustainability.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Surveying
  2. Earthworks
  3. Water Management
  4. Environmental Control
  5. Chemical applications
  6. Fencing
  7. Mechanisation
  8. Engineering Efficiency
  9. Developing Engineering Solutions

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain surveying, including basic principles and techniques, appropriate for horticulture and agriculture
  • Determine earthworks required for an agricultural or horticultural site
  • Determine appropriate water management for an horticultural/agricultural site.
  • Determine technological solutions for environmental control problems, in rural or horticultural situations.
  • Explain the operation of equipment commonly used to apply pesticides and other chemicals in both horticultural and agricultural workplaces.
  • Determine appropriate fencing to use for different purposes; including security and restricting the movement of animals, pests or traffic, in agricultural and horticultural situations.
  • Explain the operation of machinery commonly used to mechanise manual tasks carried out in horticultural and agricultural workplaces.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of engineering applications in agricultural and horticultural workplaces.
  • Determine procedures for improving work tasks in agricultural and horticultural situations.

Why Learn about Engineering?

Without modern engineering solutions, land management would be exceedingly more costly and difficult. We can move and reshape land more easily today than ever before; using modern machines; but without the proper knowledge and awareness of what we are doing, the work that is done can be just as easily, destructive as it can be constructive.

Studying a course like this allows you to not only understand how to have a greater impact through the application of modern engineering; but also, how to make sure you have an appropriate impact whenever you do anything.

Machinery helps fewer people achieve far more on the modern farm -but you do need to understand both the potential, and the limitations of machines which you choose to use.

Earth works are one of the first tasks to be undertaken on any development site. Earth works simply means working on the earth; to change the shape or composition of the site. This is often a major job, requiring the physical movement of large quantities of soil. The ease with which earthworks can be undertaken will depend upon:
  • Soil type
  • Methods used to work with the earth.

Consider things such as:

  • The inherent stability of slopes in the area.  Look for the existence of nearby land slips, water seepages, undulations etc. They indicate that the soil in the area is not stable.
  • Check council records if you don't know the area; Old mine sites, bore holes, trial pits, filled sites (in housing developments) etc, are subject to unexpected subsidence.
  • If soil stability is questionable, it can be wiser to create benches or steps with retaining walls rather than creating a steep slope covered with garden beds or lawn.
  • It is often desirable that the angle of a slope be varied, so that concave, convex or curved surfaces harmonize with the surrounding topography. A drain at the top of a slope will intercept surface water before it goes down the slope. These drains can be open channels, ditches or piped drains.


At the start of this course you learn how to survey a piece of land, and how to undertake earthworks to reshape that land. This is the starting point for developing a site as a farm or other land use.  Sometimes the land doesn't need earthworks, but unless it is surveyed, you don't know that. Surveying allows you to understand slopes, natural drainage patterns and differences that occur across different segments of a property. Armed with that knowledge you can make informed decisions about any earthworks needed.

You can then move forward to plan and implement solutions to achieve better water and environmental management on a property; which is exactly what the next two lessons deal with.

This course builds your knowledge and understanding of how to manage a property, guiding you through a logical learning process as shown above.

On completing the course you will look at a property differently. Whether previously developed, or undeveloped land; you will be able to see the possibilities for improving and managing the site and understand the sequence of tasks you need to plan for and undertake in order to improve that property and the productivity of any produce coming from it.

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Rosemary Davies

Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c
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