single degree

Master of Environmental Science

A single two year graduate degree offered by the ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment

MES
  • Length 2 years full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Length 2 years full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.

Do you want to engage with current scientific understanding and explanations of environmental processes and issues? The Master of Environmental Science is a flexible program for those wishing to develop breadth in environmental science and its applications, and depth in aspects of one or more of the biological, earth and environmental and ecological sciences. This program is for those students wanting to increase their scientific and professional expertise for careers in many aspects of environmental science, including environmental policy, management, administration, industry, services and research.

Career Options

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate both a broad knowledge base in the environmental sciences and depth of knowledge in aspects of one or more of environmental biology, environmental earth science, and environmental and ecological science
  2. Independently apply their advanced knowledge and analytical, research, teamwork, and oral and written communication skills in professional practice in the environmental sciences
  3. Effectively communicate knowledge and understanding in the environmental sciences to both specialist and non-specialist audiences

Further Information

In the Master of Environmental Science you will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of environmental science across the biological, environmental and ecological and earth sciences, and to focus your learning in one of these three discipline areas.

Environmental Biology

The Environmental Biology focus is available to students with relevant prior learning in Biology. Courses in the Environmental Biology discipline area may require prior learning equivalent to first or second year undergraduate Biology and/or first year undergraduate Chemistry. Requirements for particular courses included in this discipline area must be discussed with the degree program convener prior to enrolment.

Environmental Biology includes the study of life from individual organisms and their adaptations to populations and ecosystems. Environmental biology is not only of intrinsic interest but has applications in areas from the management of agriculture to biodiversity and conservation. It is a rapidly changing field and a biologist of the future will need to be able to apply the knowledge they learn to new technologies and emerging issues.

In Environmental Biology you will learn to:

  • explain how environmental biology is an evidence-based discipline involving observation, experimentation and hypothesis testing and how it relates to other scientific disciplines
  • apply conceptual knowledge of environmental biology principles and processes to theoretical, experimental and professional contexts

 

Environmental and Ecological Science

The Environmental and Ecological Science focus is available to students with relevant prior learning in Environmental and/or Ecological Science. Prior learning requirements for particular courses included in the Environmental and Ecological Science discipline area must be discussed with the degree program convener prior to enrolment.

Environmental and Ecological Science explores the contemporary evidence-based information, explanation and decision-making that underpin environmental issues. You will be exposed to scientific techniques in theory construction and application, field methods and cutting-edge analytical and synthetic research techniques relevant to environmental practitioners, decision-makers and managers. The discipline area includes freshwater systems, biodiversity, food systems, sustainable agriculture, urban systems, forestry, soils, landscape management, fire, and climate variability and change.

In Environmental and Ecological Science you will learn to:

  • develop expertise in environmental and ecological science as an evidence-based discipline involving observation, experimentation and hypothesis testing
  • apply your conceptual knowledge of environmental and ecological science principles and processes in a range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary contexts
  • critically assess, reflect on and develop environmental and ecological information and apply it in theoretical, experimental and professional situations

 

Environmental Earth Science

The Environmental Earth Science focus is available to students with relevant prior learning in Earth Science. Courses in the Environmental Earth Science discipline area may require prior learning equivalent to first or second year undergraduate Earth Science, and first year undergraduate Chemistry and/or Mathematics. Requirements for particular courses included in this discipline area must be discussed with the degree program convener prior to enrolment.

Environmental Earth Science focuses on investigating the complexity of Earth systems. An increasingly important aspect of environmental earth science is the understanding of past and present climate systems through integrated studies of the interactions between the lithosphere, oceans, atmosphere and biosphere. Many other pressing environmental issues such as the supply of water and natural hazards are tightly related to the earth sciences. Courses can be chosen from a range of aspects of environmental earth science, to complement knowledge in other aspects of the environmental sciences.

In Environmental Earth Science you will learn to:

  • draw on diverse learning environments, from the field to the laboratory to the classroom by individual and group learning, combining field observation with theory
  • interpret data from a range of environmental earth science disciplines and relate them to current issues such as the supply of water, climate change and natural hazards
  • reconstruct past and present environments using water quality measurements and remains of organisms

Information for students who are interested in undertaking research:

Students have the option of applying to transfer to the Master of Environmental Science (Adv) and undertaking a 48 unit research project if they satisfy the following requirements:

• achieve a minimum 70% weighted average mark in the initial 48 units of coursework

• have the approval of an identified supervisor, and 

• have completed compulsory courses in the Master of Environmental Science (Advanced) 

 

Students who have completed 48 units and wish to exit the program have the option of transferring to graduate from a Graduate Diploma of Science.

 

Students who have completed 24 units and wish to exit the program have the option of transferring to graduate from a Graduate Certificate of Science.

Admission Requirements

A Bachelor degree or international equivalent with an average mark of at least 70% and at least 8 courses in cognate disciplines.

All applicants must meet the University’s English Language Admission Requirements for Students.

Applicants with a Bachelor Degree or Graduate Certificate in a cognate discipline may be eligible for 24 units (one semester) of credit.

Applicants with a Graduate Diploma or Honours in a cognate discipline may be eligible for 48 units (one year) of credit.

Cognate disciplines

Biology, Earth Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geology, Marine Science

Indicative Fees

Annual indicative fee for international students
$38,976.00
Annual indicative fee for domestic students
$29,280.00

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

The Master of Environmental Science requires the completion of 96 units, of which:

A minimum of 24 units must come from completion of 8000-level courses.

A course used to satisfy the requirements of one list may not be double counted towards satisfying the requirements of another list. 

 

The 96 units of courses must consist of:

Either:

Environmental Biology

A minimum of 12 units from completion of Environmental Biology courses from the following list:

BIOL8700 Research Proposal

BIOL8706 Biology Research Project 

 

A minimum of 36 units from completion of Environmental Biology courses from the following list:

BIOL6002 Plants: Genes to Environment

BIOL6003 Plant Functional Diversity: Genomes to Biomes

BIOL6004 Population Ecology

BIOL6006 Principles of Genetics

BIOL6010 Field Studies in Behavioural Ecology

BIOL6106 Biosecurity

BIOL6111 Australian Vertebrates

BIOL6113 Invertebrate Zoology

BIOL6116 Marine Conservation Ecology

BIOL6125 Plants and Global Climate Change

BIOL6161 Genes: Replication and Expression

BIOL6162 Molecular Gene Technology

BIOL6177 Advances in Molecular Plant Science

BIOL6191 Biology, Society and Ethics

BIOL6201 Big Questions in Biology

BIOL6202 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biology

BIOL6206 Evolution of Biodiversity

BIOL6631 Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology

BIOL8021 Health and Disease in a Changing World

 

A minimum of 12 units from the completion of Environmental and Ecological Science courses from the following list:

ENVS6005 Sustainable Urban Systems

ENVS6015 GIS and Spatial Analysis

ENVS6020 Human Ecology

ENVS6022 Water Science

ENVS6024 Biodiversity Conservation

ENVS6025 Complex Environmental Problems in Action

ENVS6026 Managing Forested Landscapes

ENVS6103 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research

ENVS6104 Australia's Environment

ENVS6201 Biodiversity Science: Wildlife, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology

ENVS6202 Environmental Measurement, Modelling and Monitoring

ENVS6204 Weather, Climate and Fire

ENVS6218 Environmental Science Field School

ENVS6223 Sustainable Agricultural Systems

ENVS6301 Climate Change Science & Policy in Practice

ENVS6303 Climatology

ENVS6304 Land and Catchment Management

ENVS6306 Human Futures

ENVS6307 Climate Change Science & Policy

ENVS6308 Fire in the Environment

ENVS6311 Severe Weather

ENVS6514 Ecological Assessment and Management

ENVS6319 Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS

ENVS6529 Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction

ENVS6555 Water Management

ENVS8003 Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation

ENVS8015 Contemporary Perspectives in Environmental Science

ENVS8048 Topics in Environment & Society

 

A minimum of 12 units from the completion of Environmental Earth Science courses from the following list:

EMSC6014 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

EMSC6015 Chemistry of Planet Earth

EMSC6019 Geobiology and Evolution of Life on Earth

EMSC6021 Fundamentals of Climate System Science

EMSC6023 Marine Biogeochemistry

EMSC6025 Groundwater

EMSC6027 Palaeoclimatology and Climate Change

EMSC6028 Coastal Environmental Earth Science

EMSC6032 Melting Polar Ice Sheets, Sea Level Variations and Climate Change

EMSC6040 Seminar A: Short Research Project

EMSC6041 Seminar B: Short Research Project

EMSC6107 The Blue Planet: an introduction to Earth system science

EMSC8014 Special Topics in Earth Science

EMSC8018 Advanced Water and Marine Geosciences

EMSC8706 Introduction to Natural Hazards

EMSC8707 Advanced Natural Hazards

 

Or:

Environmental and Ecological Science

A minimum of 12 units from completion of Environmental and Ecological Science courses from the following list:

ENVS8015 Contemporary Perspectives in Environmental Science

ENVS8048 Topics in Environment & Society 

 

A minimum of 36 units from completion of Environmental and Ecological Science courses from the following list:

ENVS6005 Sustainable Urban Systems

ENVS6015 GIS and Spatial Analysis

ENVS6020 Human Ecology

ENVS6022 Water Science

ENVS6024 Biodiversity Conservation

ENVS6025 Complex Environmental Problems in Action

ENVS6026 Managing Forested Landscapes

ENVS6103 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research

ENVS6104 Australia's Environment

ENVS6201 Biodiversity Science: Wildlife, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology

ENVS6202 Environmental Measurement, Modelling and Monitoring

ENVS6204 Weather, Climate and Fire

ENVS6218 Environmental Science Field School

ENVS6223 Sustainable Agricultural Systems

ENVS6301 Climate Change Science & Policy in Practice

ENVS6303 Climatology

ENVS6304 Land and Catchment Management

ENVS6306 Human Futures

ENVS6307 Climate Change Science & Policy

ENVS6308 Fire in the Environment

ENVS6311 Severe Weather

ENVS6319 Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS

ENVS6514 Ecological Assessment and Management

ENVS6529 Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction

ENVS6555 Water Management

ENVS8003 Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation

 

A minimum of 12 units from the completion of Environmental Biology courses from the following list:

BIOL6002 Plants: Genes to Environment

BIOL6003 Plant Functional Diversity: Genomes to Biomes

BIOL6004 Population Ecology

BIOL6006 Principles of Genetics

BIOL6010 Field Studies in Behavioural Ecology

BIOL6106 Biosecurity

BIOL6111 Australian Vertebrates

BIOL6113 Invertebrate Zoology

BIOL6116 Marine Conservation Ecology

BIOL6125 Plants and Global Climate Change

BIOL6161 Genes: Replication and Expression

BIOL6162 Molecular Gene Technology

BIOL6177 Advances in Molecular Plant Science

BIOL6191 Biology, Society and Ethics

BIOL6201 Big Questions in Biology

BIOL6202 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biology

BIOL6206 Evolution of Biodiversity

BIOL6631 Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology

BIOL8021 Health and Disease in a Changing World

 

A minimum of 12 units from the completion of Environmental Earth Science courses from the following list:

EMSC6014 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

EMSC6015 Chemistry of Planet Earth

EMSC6019 Geobiology and Evolution of Life on Earth

EMSC6021 Fundamentals of Climate System Science

EMSC6023 Marine Biogeochemistry

EMSC6025 Groundwater

EMSC6027 Palaeoclimatology and Climate Change

EMSC6028 Coastal Environmental Earth Science

EMSC6032 Melting Polar Ice Sheets, Sea Level Variations and Climate Change

EMSC6040 Seminar A: Short Research Project

EMSC6041 Seminar B: Short Research Project

EMSC6107 The Blue Planet: an introduction to Earth system science

EMSC8014 Special Topics in Earth Science

EMSC8018 Advanced Water and Marine Geosciences

EMSC8706 Introduction to Natural Hazards

EMSC8707 Advanced Natural Hazards

 

Or:

Environmental Earth Science

12 units from completion of EMSC8030 Earth Science Research Project

 

A minimum of 36 units from completion of Environmental Earth Science courses from the following list:

EMSC6014 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

EMSC6015 Chemistry of Planet Earth

EMSC6019 Geobiology and Evolution of Life on Earth

EMSC6021 Fundamentals of Climate System Science

EMSC6023 Marine Biogeochemistry

EMSC6025 Groundwater

EMSC6027 Palaeoclimatology and Climate Change

EMSC6028 Coastal Environmental Earth Science

EMSC6032 Melting Polar Ice Sheets, Sea Level Variations and Climate Change

EMSC6040 Seminar A: Short Research Project

EMSC6041 Seminar B: Short Research Project

EMSC6107 The Blue Planet: an introduction to Earth system science

EMSC8014 Special Topics in Earth Science

EMSC8018 Advanced Water and Marine Geosciences

EMSC8706 Introduction to Natural Hazards

EMSC8707 Advanced Natural Hazards 

 

A minimum of 12 units from the completion of Environmental and Ecological Science courses from the following list:

ENVS6005 Sustainable Urban Systems

ENVS6015 GIS and Spatial Analysis

ENVS6020 Human Ecology

ENVS6022 Water Science

ENVS6024 Biodiversity Conservation

ENVS6025 Complex Environmental Problems in Action

ENVS6026 Managing Forested Landscapes

ENVS6103 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research

ENVS6104 Australia's Environment

ENVS6201 Biodiversity Science: Wildlife, Vegetation and Landscape Ecology

ENVS6202 Environmental Measurement, Modelling and Monitoring

ENVS6204 Weather, Climate and Fire

ENVS6218 Environmental Science Field School

ENVS6223 Sustainable Agricultural Systems

ENVS6301 Climate Change Science & Policy in Practice

ENVS6303 Climatology

ENVS6304 Land and Catchment Management

ENVS6306 Human Futures

ENVS6307 Climate Change Science & Policy

ENVS6308 Fire in the Environment

ENVS6311 Severe Weather

ENVS6514 Ecological Assessment and Management

ENVS6319 Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS

ENVS6529 Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction

ENVS6555 Water Management

ENVS8003 Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation

ENVS8015 Contemporary Perspectives in Environmental Science

ENVS8048 Topics in Environment & Society

 

A minimum of 12 units from the completion of Environmental Biology courses from the following list:

BIOL6002 Plants: Genes to Environment

BIOL6003 Plant Functional Diversity: Genomes to Biomes

BIOL6004 Population Ecology

BIOL6006 Principles of Genetics

BIOL6010 Field Studies in Behavioural Ecology

BIOL6106 Biosecurity

BIOL6111 Australian Vertebrates

BIOL6113 Invertebrate Zoology

BIOL6116 Marine Conservation Ecology

BIOL6125 Plants and Global Climate Change

BIOL6161 Genes: Replication and Expression

BIOL6162 Molecular Gene Technology

BIOL6177 Advances in Molecular Plant Science

BIOL6191 Biology, Society and Ethics

BIOL6201 Big Questions in Biology

BIOL6202 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biology

BIOL6206 Evolution of Biodiversity

BIOL6631 Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology

BIOL8021 Health and Disease in a Changing World

 

A maximum of 24 units from completion of courses from the following list:

ANTH6026 Medicine, Healing and the Body

ANTH6064 Anthropology of Environmental Disasters

ANTH8014 Mining, Community and Society

ANTH8047 Land Rights and Resource Development

ARCH6022 Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change

ARCH6108 Animals, Plants & People

BIAN6013 Human Evolution

BIAN6115 Race and Human Genetic Variation

BIAN6119 Nutrition, Disease and the Environment

BIAN6120 Culture, Biology & Population Dynamics

BIAN6124 Evolution and Human Behaviour

BIAN6510 Scientific Dating and Isotope analysis for Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology

BIAN6512 Ancient Health & Disease

BIAN6513 Primate Evolutionary Biology

BIAN6514 Primate Ecology and Behaviour

BIAN6515 Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology

BIAN6516 Research Design and Analysis in Biological Anthropology

BIAN6517 Human Skeletal Analysis

BIAN6518 Analysis of Mammalian Remains

BIAN6519 Ancient Medicine

BIAN6520 Primate Conservation Biology

ENGN6516 World Energy Resources and Renewable Technologies

ENVS6013 Society and Environmental Change

ENVS6014 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability

ENVS6017 Vietnam Field School

ENVS6021 Participatory Resource Management: Working with Communities and Stakeholders

ENVS6033 International Environmental Policy

ENVS6205 Island Sustainable Development: Fiji Field School

ENVS6315 Essentials of Environmental Law

ENVS6528 Environmental Policy

ENVS8016 Contemporary Perspectives in Environment-Society Interaction

LAWS8037 Sustainable Energy Law

LAWS8111 Environmental Regulation

LAWS8189 Fundamentals of Environmental Law

MATH6100 Bioinformatics and Biological Modelling

MATH6102 Environmental Modelling and Integrated Assessment

MATH6103 Scientific and Industrial Modelling

SCOM6027 Science and Public Policy

SCOM8021 Ethics, Issues and Consequences of Science

 

Students must have completed a minimum of 42 units in order to attempt courses from the following list:

BIOL8700 Research Proposal

BIOL8706 Biology Research Project

EMSC8030 Earth Science Research Project

ENVS8015 Contemporary Perspectives in Environmental Science

ENVS8048 Topics in Environment & Society

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