Melbourne MicroCert

Supporting Farm Practice Change

Explore how to support change in farming – and how to strategise for success.

Study mode
12 weeks (27 hours) + 13 hours for assessment
Skills area
Agricultural Extension

Upcoming sessions

Monday 23 August 2021


This Melbourne MicroCert introduces a range of delivery strategies that support adoption and change in farming, along with potential success and risk factors.

You will learn from leading practitioners who understand the educational needs of agricultural extensionists and those looking to further their path within the sector. You will be guided to identify and apply relevant strategies when formulating plans for change across a range of farming populations and contexts.

This Melbourne MicroCert is part of our Agricultural Extension suite, which presents a rare opportunity for agricultural practitioners to undertake professional development that could contribute to advanced standing for further postgraduate study.

Fully online delivery presents a convenient way to develop your skillset, from a location that suits you.

Who is it for?

This Melbourne MicroCert is suitable for a wide range of agricultural practitioners and extensionists. You may be working within an industry such as livestock, grains, horticulture or viticulture. Or, you may work for a relevant government body, environmental group or land management organisation that interacts with farmers. You will be looking to develop or refresh your professional skillset and increase your ability to influence sustainable agricultural innovation and change.

As this Melbourne MicroCert is undertaken online, it is open to both domestic and international participants.

Key topics

Throughout this Melbourne MicroCert, you will explore two key topics:

  • Relevant change strategies
  • Potential success and risk factors.

Then, drawing on the knowledge gained from the course material, you will formulate a proposal for farm practice change, and justify your recommendations for adopting certain strategies in favour of others.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this Melbourne MicroCert, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Advanced knowledge of delivery strategies for farm practice change and how they interact
  • Expert analysis of strategies, and the relevant success and risk factors for a specified farm practice change
  • Ability to apply strategies to a variety of farm change contexts.

Learning experience

In an engaging online environment alongside other industry professionals, you will be guided through relevant case studies, theories and frameworks. You will also be encouraged to contribute to exploratory discussions with your peers in the online forum.

Who will you learn from?

Supporting Farm Practice Change is led by Professor Ruth Nettle, head of the Rural Innovation Research Group (RIRG) at the University of Melbourne. Professor Nettle's personal research interests include rural workforce development, the role of extension in rural change, multidisciplinary research, development and extension, and farming systems change.


This Melbourne MicroCert will take an estimated 40 hours of study, over a period of 12 weeks. You will undertake about seven hours of guided learning, 13 hours dedicated to assessment tasks, plus a recommended 20 hours of additional private study.

Assessment includes:

  • Delivery strategies peer interview (30%)
  • Farm practice change proposal (70%).

Digital certificate

Upon completion, you will be awarded your Supporting Farm Practice Change Melbourne MicroCert. This digital certificate will include information and evidence of your developed and actionable skills, knowledge and capabilities (as outlined in the learning outcomes). It may also include artefacts (such as videos and written material) related to both experiential and work-integrated learning, including translatable assessment that is practical to your professional life.

Links to industry

Our Melbourne MicroCerts are developed in close consultation with industry to ensure your knowledge is contemporary and industry-aligned.

Pathways to further study

Supporting Farm Practice Change is part of the Agricultural Extension suite of Melbourne MicroCerts. This suite is designed to be taken sequentially, in the following order:

*These courses will be available from 2021.

This MicroCert is also designed to provide a pathway – otherwise known as advanced standing – into the University of Melbourne’s Master of Agricultural Sciences.

To use Supporting Farm Practice Change in this way, you will need to complete four Melbourne MicroCerts in the Agricultural Extension suite, as each one is equivalent to one quarter of a standard subject, and then apply for credit towards the Master of Agricultural Sciences.

Expiry of Melbourne MicroCert

This Melbourne MicroCert does not have a set expiry date.

Eligibility requirements

To undertake this Melbourne MicroCert, you must have completed:

  • An undergraduate degree in agricultural or a related field, e.g. natural resource management, science


  • Two years of work experience in agricultural science, natural resource management or associated fields.


  • The first Melbourne MicroCert in the Agricultural Extension suite, People and Change in Agriculture.


If you’re aged between 45–70, employed or recently unemployed (less than 9 months) and not receiving Australian Government employment assistance, you could be eligible for Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers. Skills Checkpoint is an Australian Government funded service that allows eligible individuals to access personalised support programs including one-on-one support with a career advisor.

Find out more

Upcoming sessions

Monday 23 August 2021

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