• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Environmental Studies
  • Major code ENST-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate

The major in Environmental Studies equips students with a broad understanding of (i) the complex and often conflicting interrelationships between human societies and their environment; and (ii) the strategies, or sets of strategies that are available to address our most intractable environmental problems. Reflecting the complexity of human-environment relationships, the major in Environmental Studies offers a range of possible study areas, from natural ecological and Earth system processes, through environmental management, resource use and policy, to cultural ecology and the history of environmental change, perception and philosophy.  The breadth of disciplinary coverage means that the courses relevant to this major are taught across several ANU Colleges, including Arts and Social Sciences; Asia and the Pacific; Business and Economics; Law; and Medicine, Biology and Environment. Different coherent approaches and areas of focus are achieved by grouping these courses to meet students' particular interests, ranging from a concentration on those natural resources that provide the essential economic foundations for society through to the study of more general aspects of the environment affecting quality of life. A common theme is the interactivity between humans and their environment at the individual and societal levels, as well as global, regional and local scale change processes. The major in Environmental Studies provides students with the multidisciplinary perspectives, skills and knowledge to engage meaningfully with the complex problems facing societies and the environment in the 21st century.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the connections between human culture, institutions and policies and environmental systems and change.
  2. Critically assess the relationships between human cultures and societies, the institutions, economic and political paradigms that characterise them, and the impacts on the natural environment.
  3. Apply multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to tackling complex problems in a variety of contexts (e.g. climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainability in business and industry, regional planning, land care, public participation, and cultural heritage).
  4. Gather and analyse relevant data for creating adaptive responses to environmental issues.
  5. Synthesise the principal approaches to environmental management and other relevant fields of study.
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Advice to Students

INDG3004 Indigenous Studies Supervised Research Project must be completed in an Environmental Studies topic.


Minor Overview

This major requires the completion of 48 units, of which:

A maximum of 12 units may come from completion of 1000-level courses

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of 3000-level courses

The 48 units must consist of:

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability 6
ENVS2011 Human Ecology 6

6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research 6
ENVS1004 Australia's Environment 6
ENVS1008 Sustainable Development 6
SOCR1001 Foundations of Social Research 6

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ENVS2002 Environmental Measurement, Modelling and Monitoring 6
ENVS2007 Economics for the Environment 6
ENVS2014 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability 6
ENVS2015 GIS and Spatial Analysis 6
SOCY2038 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods 6
SOCY2043 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods 6

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ANTH2135 Vietnam Field School 6-12
ARCH2041 Introduction to Environmental Archaeology 6
ARTV2921 Environment Studio: field based research and studio practice in visual arts 6
ARTV2922 Environment Studio 2 6
ASIA2093 Natural Resource Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific 6
BIAN2064 Anthropology of Environmental Disasters 6
BIAN2119 Nutrition, Disease and the Environment 6
DEMO2001 Population Studies 6
ENVS2005 Island Sustainable Development: Fiji Field School 6-12
ENVS2012 Sustainable Urban Systems 6
ENVS2013 Society and Environmental Change 6
ENVS2023 Sustainable Agricultural Systems 6
HUMN2051 Introduction to Cultural Heritage Management 6
INDG2001 Indigenous Cultural and Natural Resource Management 6
PASI2003 Environment and Development in the Pacific 6
PHIL2126 Science in Society: Ethics, Public Policy and Scientific Practice 6
POLS2011 Development and Change 6
POLS3033 Environment, Human Security and Conflict 6
SOCY2008 Living in the Risk Society: Health, Crime, Climate and Disasters 6
SOCY2022 Environmental Sociology 6

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ANIP3003 Australian National Internships Program Internship A 6
ENVS3001 Climate Change Science & Policy in Practice 6
ENVS3004 Land and Catchment Management 6
ENVS3005 Water Management 6
ENVS3007 Participatory Resource Management: Working with Communities and Stakeholders 6
ENVS3015 Essentials of Environmental Law 6
ENVS3020 Climate Change Science & Policy 6
ENVS3021 Human Futures 6
ENVS3028 Environmental Policy 6
ENVS3033 International Environmental Policy 6
ENVS3039 Biodiversity Conservation 6
ENVS3040 Complex Environmental Problems in Action 6
INDG3004 Indigenous Studies Supervised Research Project 6
MGMT3101 Business and the Natural Environment 6
VCUG3001 Unravelling Complexity 6
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