751-5005-00L  Agroecology

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersN. Buchmann, S. Keller, M. Sonnevelt
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


751-5005-00 GAgroecology
Die KP dieser Veranstaltung können nur ein Mal erhalten werden. Es findet keine Veranstaltung im Frühling statt.
2 hrs
Tue16:15-18:00HG G 26.5 »
N. Buchmann, S. Keller, M. Sonnevelt

Catalogue data

AbstractAgroecology is a discipline, an agricultural practice, and a political-social movement. Students will attend public lectures by experts from different fields and will reflect on agroecology and its principles. Moreover, students will expand their knowledge with case studies and discuss about the role of agroecology to support sustainable agriculture and food systems.
ObjectiveStudents know the thirteen principles of the High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the Committee on World Food Security as well as the ten elements of agroecology suggested by FAO and can critically reflect on the important properties as well as benefits and trade-offs of agroecological systems and approaches.

Students will be able to transfer their disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge about the thirteen principles as guiding principles for policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders across the food system in planning, managing, and evaluating agroecological transformation. Students are part of small groups focusing on selected principles of the HLPE. During the course, students discus the potential and limitations of agroecology and learn about scientific contributions to agroecology. Students form an opinion on the role of agroecology, reflect and argue on the different facets and develop recommendations for real-world applications of agroecology in supporting a transition towards sustainable food systems.
ContentThe course is designed as a combination of public lectures/webinars on "Agroecology and the Transformation to Sustainable Food Systems” delivered by national and international experts and scientists as well as sessions in which students reflect on the topics addressed in the lecture series in a group work format. The public lectures bring different perspectives to the discussion and are intended as inputs for the students’ sessions. In the student sessions, the student groups deepen their knowledge of the 13 principles of agroecology proposed by the High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) of the Committee on World Food Security. They identify “unknows” and link to other closely related principles. The groups also work out the perspective of a chosen stakeholder. Finally, the groups will take part in a scientific discussion representing their stakeholder perspective. All groups will synthesize their discussions in a short report.
Lecture notesHandouts will be available on the webpage of the course.

Report of HLPE on agroecology:
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is based on fundamental knowledge about plant ecophysiology, soil science, biogeochemistry, crop and forage science, and ecology in general. The course will be taught in English. The course is only offered in fall.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesCritical Thinkingassessed
Self-direction and Self-management assessed

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits2 credits
ExaminersN. Buchmann, S. Keller, M. Sonnevelt
Typeungraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationAttendance in presence and active participation during all parts of the course is expected, including public lectures (min. 80% attendance).

Performance assessment consists of different parts: (1) active participation, and (2) group work during entire semester (3-5 persons per group). Groups will write 1-2 short report(s) and give 1-2 group presentations (15-20 min). Both group parts are equally weighted.

Group registration is open until Wednesday, October 4th 2023, 6pm. The reports and presentations are due during the semester. The entry for group work counts as registration for the performance assessment. Last deregistration date for this course is Friday October 6th 2023. Please note that after that date, no deregistration is accepted, and the course will be graded in any case.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places45 at the most
PriorityRegistration for the course unit is until 31.08.2023 only possible for the primary target group
Primary target groupEnvironmental Sciences BSc (727000)
Waiting listuntil 15.09.2023

Offered in

Agricultural Sciences BachelorElectivesW+Information
Agricultural Sciences MasterElectives CoursesW+Information
Environmental Sciences BachelorAgroecologyWInformation