Sheep and Wool Units

Sheep and wool ('WOOL') units offered at UNE were developed with the benefit of funding assistance from the Sheep CRC, Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Wool Education Trust (AWET). The units are all available externally.

There are five sheep and wool units:

  • Sheep Production (WOOL412/512; Trimester 1)
  • Wool Biology and Measurement (WOOL472/572; Trimester 1)
  • Wool Marketing and Clip Preparation (WOOL422/522; Trimester 2)
  • Wool Processing (WOOL482/582; Trimester 2)
  • Fundamentals of Sheep and Wool Production (WOOL300; Trimester 3)

Sheep Production (WOOL412/512)

This unit introduces the major themes associated with sheep production in Australia including topics on wool and sheep meat production, sheep health, genetics of sheep breeding, nutritional and environmental constraints to sheep production and management of sheep production. 

This unit is offered in both internal and external mode with external students attending a 3 day intensive school held at UNE, Armidale.

Practical sessions, during trimester for internals and the intensive school for externals, include activities using the dedicated teaching flock at Trevenna located a short 5 minute walk from the main teaching campus at UNE.  Sessions include precision sheep management, reproduction and sire selection, use of web based tools to manage sheep health, grazing management, visits to commercial sheep properties and assessment of sheep and lambs for sale.  These sessions are facilitated by UNE teaching and research staff, MLA and DPI staff and local producers.

Wool Biology and Measurement (WOOL472/572)

This unit examines the cellular and molecular structure of the wool fibre, wool follicle formation and genetic engineering of wool follicles. All aspects of wool measurement or metrology and its effects on sheep selection, prediction formulae and processing performance. Specifically topics include the metrology of fibre diameter, staple length, strength, colour and wool contamination.

An intensive school is held at Australian Wool Testing Authority, Melbourne (April). The intensive school includes:

  • Tour of AWTA facilities
  • Day-trip to Geelong to CSIRO and National Wool Museum and National Wool Selling centre
  • Practical sessions
  • Industry guest speakers and demonstrations

Wool Processing (WOOL482/582)

This unit introduces the major principles and procedures involved in both early and late stage wool processing. All aspects of worsted and woollen systems, wool scouring, carding, carbonising, drafting, gilling combing, spinning, weaving, knitting and finishing. The effect of fibre properties on processing performance and the latest developments.

An intensive school is held in Melbourne. The intensive school includes:

  • Tours of a scouring plant, carpet manufacturer, garment manufacturers and retailers, and dyeing and weaving plants
  • Practical sessions at Deakin University 

Wool Marketing and Clip Preparation (WOOL422/522)

This unit highlights the issues facing wool as a fibre in an intensely competitive global apparel textile market. The unit is designed to provide students and non-economists with a basic understanding of economic and marketing principles together with clip preparation procedures.

Specific topics include, on farm fibre measurement, shearing, wool classing, selling systems, developments in wool marketing and demand for Australian wool and product promotion.

An intensive school is held at UNE, Armidale. The intensive school includes:

  • Industry guest speakers
  • Wool trading activities, with 'mock' auction
  • Wool classing demonstrations and activities at TAFE NSW
  • Visit to local property to observe on-farm fibre testing measurements and shearing shed

Fundamentals of Sheep and Wool Production (WOOL300)

This unit provides a detailed introduction to the Australian sheep and wool industry and production systems. It outlines the factors affecting the production of sheep meat and wool, and considerations the producer needs to take into account including nutrition, genetics and environment. It also outlines the marketing systems for wool, and the importance of meeting consumer demands for the sustainability of the industry.

Offered in Trimester 3, this unit is only available to those students studying the new Agrifood Systems degree in 2014. However, it will be open to students studying other degrees from 2015.

There is no intensive school for this unit.