- Code ENVS6013
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Environmental Science
- Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Development Studies More...
Climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, waste accumulation and resource supply scarcities are converging at an unprecedented speed and scale while at the same time the development needs of large parts of the world's population are not yet satisfied. To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to align social, economic and environmental objectives will require a fundamental change in production, consumption and infrastructure delivery. We explore how a better understanding of institutions and governance can inform well-designed policies that facilitate sustainable consumption and production.
In this course we explore the complex interrelationships between social, economic and political processes and the environment. We consider economic processes (consumption and production), social processes (in which economic processes are embedded) and decision-making processes and institutional arrangements including issues of participation and the potential for adaptive responses to environmental change. We review society-nature interactions in history, look at the role of population, demography and consumption in environmental change and touch upon urbanization and new middle class consumers.
The course takes a social-ecological perspective on environmental change and analyses the role of important social subsystems - the economy, the legal system, the political system and science - for steering society nature interactions.
We are interested to explore how the social relationship with nature is shaped, maintained and can be transformed. This allows us to investigate how the agency of social actors is constrained and enabled by natural and social conditions that we can address in both material and symbolic terms to inform policies and business practices that may contribute to sustainable development.
In particular, the course will address such questions as: what is the capacity of modern society to manage natural resources sustainably and to reduce emissions? What enables and constrains sustainability solutions? How can social choices to sustainability be informed by scientific knowledge? What is the role of individuals and agency? What are the key structural problems in society that need be addressed to achieve sustainable development?
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Apply sociological concepts and analytical methods and relate them to concepts and methods from human geography and political economy to analyse society-environment relationships and to distil policy implications.
- Employ theories and methods for situating social change within institutions and governance arrangements that will guide and interact with social and behavioural change including cross scale interactions.
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding of key concepts and a good command of the literature in interdisciplinary scientific communities including human ecology, environmental sociology, environmental history, ecological economics, industrial ecology and environmental policy.
- Employ advanced research, writing and presentation skills.
- Reflect on their own learning, demonstrate high levels of information literacy, and interact with others through communication skills that include speaking, writing and facilitating small groups.
Regular attendance and participation in class work is expected, and tutorial attendance is compulsory. Assessment will be based on:
- 4,000 word essay on a topic related to the course (65%) (LO 1-4)
- 400-600 words public thought piece (15%) (LO 1-4)
- A group presentation and planning and facilitation of group exercises (20%) (LO 1-5)
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48 contact hours comprising of one 3 hour lecture/seminar and one 1 hour tutorial per week. Preparation is required for weekly seminars and tutorials.
Requisite and Incompatibility
To be advised.
Areas of Interest
- Human Ecology
- Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability
- Resource Management and Environmental Science
- Development Studies
- Environmental Studies
- Human Sciences
- Population Studies
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Band 2
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery|
|8888||23 Jul 2018||30 Jul 2018||31 Aug 2018||26 Oct 2018||In Person|