single degree

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability)

A single three year undergraduate degree offered by the ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment

BISS
  • Length 3 year full-time
  • Minimum 144 Units
Admission requirements
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Length 3 year full-time
  • Minimum 144 Units
Admission requirements
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.

The complex and interconnected challenges of creating sustainable societies demands an integrative, holistic appreciation of sustainability and requires us to step beyond disciplines to gain a broader understanding of the world.

This contemporary interdisciplinary degree prepares you to tackle this complexity, and address the challenges of sustainability. The degree draws from the complementary strengths of ANU Colleges in sustainability education and research.

Our flexible program is structured around the Sustainability Science major, which includes a core of compulsory courses focused on helping you develop an interdisciplinary perspective and research skills relevant to sustainability.

If you are passionate about a sustainable future, this program will prepare you to meet the challenges we face to get there.

For more information on our educational offerings, the university experience, career opportunities and student stories please visit our website.

Get the inside story on what it’s like to be an ANU student by visiting our student blog.

Career Options

Graduates from ANU have been rated as Australia's most employable graduates and among the most sought after by employers worldwide.

The latest Global Employability University Ranking, published by the Times Higher Education, rated ANU as Australia's top university for getting a job for the fourth year in a row.

This program is available for applications until second semester, 2016

Employment Opportunities

Career opportunities are enormously diverse in the community, public and private sector. Organisations seek our graduates who have superior skills in addressing complex, real-world sustainability challenges.

These are ubiquitous in business and government, in large and small-scale organisations, and in natural, rural and urban environments.

Admission Requirements

Admission to all programs is on a competitive basis. Admission to undergraduate degrees is based on meeting the ATAR requirement or an equivalent rank derived from the following qualifications:

• An Australian year 12 qualification or international equivalent; OR
• A completed Associate Diploma, Associate Degree, AQF Diploma, Diploma, AQF Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate or international equivalent; OR
• At least one standard full-time year (1.0 FTE) in a single program of degree level study at an Australian higher education institution or international equivalent; OR
• An approved tertiary preparation course unless subsequent study is undertaken.

Click HERE for further information about domestic admission.

The table below is a guide to the entry level required for domestic applicants. Exact entry level will be set at time of offer.

Domestic applicant entry requirements

Queensland Band equivalents are a guide only - selection is made on a UAI equivalent that is not available to students.

International applicant entry requirements

International applicants may view further information on admissions requirements at Entry Requirements for International Undergraduate Applicants

The University reserves the right to alter or discontinue its programs as required.

ATAR:
80
QLD Band:
10
International Baccalaureate:
29

Prerequisites

There are no formal program prerequisites, however science, engineering and information technology majors require prerequisite knowledge as listed above for CHEM1101, PHYS1101 and MATH.

Bonus Points

The National Access Scheme 2014

ANU offers bonus points for nationally strategic senior secondary subjects, and in recognition of difficult circumstances that students face in their studies. 

Bonus points are applied to all applicants with an ATAR at or above 70. Points are awarded in accordance with the approved schedule, and no more than 10 points (maximum 5 academic points and maximum 5 equity points) will be awarded.

Bonus points do not apply to programs with an ATAR cutoff of 98 or higher.

Bonus Points are only awarded to domestic applicants applying for admission through UAC who have not previously attempted tertiary study.

How to apply

Academic Bonus Points: senior secondary students do not need to apply for ANU academic bonus points. They are automatically added in accordance with the schedule.

Educational Access Scheme: senior secondary students do not need to apply if their school is part of the Priority School Funding Program or Country Areas Program. All other applicants should refer to http://www.uac.edu.au/eas/  for more information.

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP)

For more information see: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/costs-fees

Annual indicative fee for international students
$34,944.00

Scholarships

ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

Program Requirements

This program requires the completion of 144 units, of which:

A maximum of 60 units may come from the completion of 1000 level courses

A minimum of 84 units must be completed in 2000 and 3000 level courses.

A minimum of 24 units must come from the completion of non-science courses.

The 144 units must consist of:

48 units from the completion of the Sustainability Science major

Either:

48 units from the completion of a major from the following list:

Anthropology

Asian History

Asia-Pacific Politics

Asia-Pacific Security Studies

Biological Anthropology

Biology

Corporate Sustainability

Development Studies

Environmental and Landscape Sciences

Environmental Studies

Geography

International Communication

International Relations

Marine Science

Materials and Mechanical Systems

Natural Resource Management

Pacific Studies

Philosophy

Political Science

Science Communication

Sociology

Sustainable Energy Systems

48 units from completion of elective courses offered by ANU

Or

24 units from the completion of a minor from the following list:

American Studies

Anthropology

Archaeology

Asian History

Asia-Pacific Politics

Asia-Pacific Security Studies

Australian Indigenous Studies

Australian Politics

Biodiversity Conservation and Management

Biological Anthropology

Climate Change Science and Policy

Contemporary Europe

Corporate Sustainability

Cultural Studies

Development Studies

Environmental Policy

Environmental Studies

Forest Science and Policy

Geography

Health Medicine and the Body

Inter-Asia Cultural Studies

International Communication

International Relations

Latin American Studies

Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies

Pacific Studies

Philosophy and Science

Political Science

Science Communication

Social Research Methods

Sociology

Soil and Land Management

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Systems

Water Science and Policy

72 units from completion of elective courses offered by ANU

Honours

Honours Year on any agreed topic, subject to normal Honours admission requirements.

Majors

Minors

Elective Study

Once you have met the program requirements of your degree, you may have enough electives to complete an additional elective majorminor or specialisation.

Study Options

Year 1 48 units ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability 6 units BISS elective course 6 units Minor course 6 units Elective Course 6 units
Sustainability Science Major course 6 units BISS elective course 6 units Minor course 6 units Elective Course 6 units
Year 2 48 units ENVS2011 Human Ecology 6 units BISS elective course 6 units Minor course 6 units Elective Course 6 units
Sustainability Science Major course 6 units BISS elective course 6 units Minor course 6 units Elective Course 6 units
Year 3 48 units ENVS3021 Human Futures 6 units Sustainability Science Major course 6 units Elective Course 6 units Elective Course 6 units
Sustainability Science Major course 6 units ENVS3040 Complex Environmental Problems in Action 6 units Elective Course 6 units Elective Course 6 units

Back to the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability) page

Please note that if you are commencing your studies in semester 2 there may be restrictions on the courses available for enrolment. We strongly recommend that you make an appointment with an academic advisor (science.enquiries@anu.edu.au or phoning 6125 2809) to discuss your options. There will also be advisory sessions offered during the week before semester commences.


BISS is a unique degree that allows you to study across a range of disciplines related to sustainability from around the university. With a core focus on sustainability science, you will be able to integrate learning from wide range of majors and minors on offer from Arts and Social Sciences, Asia-Pacific Studies, Business and Economics, Engineering, and of course, Science.  You will have the opportunity to develop a distinctly interdisciplinary outlook on sustainability, following your own areas of interest – it is up to you!



Single degree

Degree structure

  • This degree requires 144 units
  • Completion of the Sustainability Science major (48 units)
  • One other minor, specialisation or a second major from a provided list (24units/48 units)
  • At least 24 units from outside the colleges of Science (which may be your minor or second major, or electives)
  • Other elective units from Science or other Colleges

Double degree

The BISS cannot be taken as part of a double degree, as it already allows you to work across the university.


About this degree

In a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program you will study a total of 144 units.  Typically you will take 4 courses per semester (total of 24 units) as a full time student giving you a total of 24 courses across your whole degree.

You'll need to take the Sustainability Science major (8 courses) and one other minor (or specialisation) (4 courses), and four electives (4 courses).  If you'd like to, you can use your electives to extend your second minor into a second major. The majors and minors available to BISS students are listed at [http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/program/BISSU#program-requirements]. You'll also get to choose eight electives from courses right across ANU.  You can use these electives to explore other areas or to take another major or minor from anywhere around the university, such as a language.


Enrolment Status

While it's possible to enrol in fewer courses per semester, which is called studying part-time, it will take you longer to finish your program and get your degree. If you are an international student you must always be full-time.





Important things to keep in mind when choosing your 1000-level courses

When you enrol for the first time you will study ‘1000-level’ courses.  These courses have ‘1’ as the first number in their course code, such as ENVS1234.
  • A course (usually 6 units) can only be counted towards one major or minor.
  • You need to enrol in courses for both First Semester and Second Semester.
  • You can’t study more than four courses (24 units) per semester, eight for the year.
  • You need to enrol in courses for at least the Sustainability Science major, including ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability and at least one of 5 other 1st  year courses listed
  • You need to enrol in courses for at least one potential minor or a second potential major from the BISS list.
  • You may take 1000-level courses later in your program.  But remember you can’t count more than ten 1000-level courses (60 units) towards your degree.


Majors and Minors

See available majors and minors for this program

A course can only ever be counted toward one major or minor.

Exception: A maximum of 12 units of 1000 level courses can count toward two majors that share common first year requirements.


There are over 23 majors, and 39 minors and specialisations available for you to study, from Anthropology to Environmental Policy.  A list of these is available here.

Majors

http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/Search?Source=Catalogue&FilterByMajors=true&CollegeName=CMBE_CPS

 Minors

http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/Search?Source=Catalogue&FilterByMinors=true&CollegeName=CMBE_CPS

 Specialisations

http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/Search?Source=Catalogue&FilterBySpecialisations=true&CollegeName=CMBE_CPS

If you aren’t sure what you want to study for your whole degree, that’s fine. You don’t need to commit to majors or minors until after your first year.  Using electives can help to keep your options open.

When you choose a major, it's a good idea to check the prerequisites electives that interest you.  You can use your electives to enrol in any prerequisite courses. 

There are two main ways to choose courses for majors and minors:

  • Choose from the list of BISS majors and minors and see what courses you need to enrol in.
  • Choose from the list of first-year courses that interest you and see what majors and minors they count towards.

Because there are so many options available, you will need to take your time choosing what you want to study. Advice is always available.



Electives

While you only need to enrol in courses for the Sustainability Science major and one other minor, you can use your electives to enrol in 1000-level courses for other majors or minors. That way you keep your options open.  Once you've selected courses for your Sustainability Science major, and a minor or second major, you should choose electives to make up the balance of your courses. 

To find 1000-level courses, use the catalogue finder.  Remember you can choose from 5 different ANU colleges under the BISS degree.

Study Options

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability)

This is a typical study pattern for the first year of a student undertaking a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with the required Sustainability Science Major a second Science major, with Arts units to contribute to the required non-science component.

Study Options

Year 1 48 units ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability 6 units Science Major 1000 level Course 6 units Arts Course 6 units Elective Course 6 units
Sustainability Science Major 1000 level Course 6 units Science Major 1000 level Course 6 units Arts Course 6 units Elective Course 6 units

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability)

This is a typical study pattern for the first year of a student undertaking a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with the required Sustainability Science Major and one Arts minor.

Study Options

Year 1 48 units ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability 6 units Arts Minor 1000 level Course 6 units Science Course 6 units Elective Course 6 units
Sustainability Science Major 1000 level Course 6 units Arts Minor 1000 level Course 6 units Science Course 6 units Elective Course 6 units

Academic Advice

For further information on this degree you can:





Do you want to talk to someone before enrolling?

Contact Science.Enquiries@anu.edu.au

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