single degree

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability)

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

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

This program is available for applications until second semester, 2016

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

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.

QLD Band:
International Baccalaureate:

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.


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  for more information.

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


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


Asian History

Asia-Pacific Politics

Asia-Pacific Security Studies

Biological Anthropology


Corporate Sustainability

Development Studies

Environmental and Landscape Sciences

Environmental Studies


International Communication

International Relations

Marine Science

Materials and Mechanical Systems

Natural Resource Management

Pacific Studies


Political Science

Science Communication


Sustainable Energy Systems

48 units from completion of elective courses offered by ANU


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

American Studies



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


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


Soil and Land Management

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Systems

Water Science and Policy

72 units from completion of elective courses offered by ANU



Elective Study

Once you have met the program requirements of your degree, you may have enough electives to complete an additional elective major,  minor 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


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

Indicative Fees

Annual indicative fee for international students


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.

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