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 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Academic contact
  • Field of Education
    • Environmental Studies
  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Academic contact
  • Field of Education
    • Environmental Studies

Shape a sustainable future for our planet with the ANU Master of Environmental Science.

You’ll be studying at one of the top 10 universities in the world for environmental science, developing your breadth of knowledge in environmental science and its applications, and depth in aspects of one or more of the biological, earth and environmental or ecological environmental sciences.

Find out more about studying Environmental Science, the degree structure, the university experience, career opportunities and student stories on 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.

Employment Opportunities

If you’d like to increase your scientific and professional expertise to enhance your career opportunities in many aspects of environmental science, this is the degree for you.

Graduates of the Master of Environmental Science forge careers in environmental science research organisations, environmental and natural resource management, industry or environment-related policy roles.

Completing a Master of Environmental Science (Advanced), with a substantial research component, can also qualify you to apply for entry to a PhD program.

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 a minimum GPA of 5/7 in a cognate area.  A cognate area consists of 8 courses.  

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

Annual indicative fee for domestic students
$32,256.00

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

Annual indicative fee for international students
$42,960.00

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.

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 Physiological Ecology
BIOL6004 Ecology
BIOL6006 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
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
 

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 Physiological Ecology
BIOL6004 Ecology
BIOL6006 Genetics
BIOL6010 Field Studies in Behavioural Ecology
BIOL6106 Biosecurity
BIOL6111 Vertebrate Biology
BIOL6113 Invertebrate Biology
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
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

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
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 

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 Physiological Ecology
BIOL6004 Ecology
BIOL6006 Genetics
BIOL6010 Field Studies in Behavioural Ecology
BIOL6106 Biosecurity
BIOL6111 Vertebrate Biology
BIOL6113 Invertebrate Biology
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 Study Tour: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change
ARCH6108 Animals, Plants & People
BIAN6013 Human Evolution
BIAN6119 Nutrition, Disease and the Environment
BIAN6120 Culture, Biology & Population Dynamics
BIAN6124 Evolution and Human Behaviour
BIAN6510 Scientific Dating in Archaeology and Palaeoenvironmental Studies
BIAN6512 Ancient Health & Disease
BIAN6513 Primate Evolutionary Biology
BIAN6514 Primate Ecology and Behaviour
BIAN6515 Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology
BIAN6517 Human Skeletal Analysis
BIAN6518 Analysis of Mammalian Remains
BIAN6519 Ancient Medicine
BIAN6520 Primate Conservation Biology
ENGN6516 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

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

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

Academic Advice

The first step to enrolling in your new program is to seek academic advice in order to discuss the courses you will be studying. This is done by making an appointment to meet with the program convener (details below).

Your academic advice session is a great opportunity to discuss with the convener the direction in which you want your studies to go. The convener will be able to advise you about course selection and content of courses that you will undertake as part of your program. Ideally you should bring along a copy of your academic record/academic transcripts as these will greatly assist your convener when giving you course advice.

To book an appointment you can:

Email: fses.coursework.enquiries@anu.edu.au

Phone: 02 6125 4499

Please also bring along your Planning Your Program document that is available from the enrolment website and your Postgraduate coursework checklist for new students. These documents will help you plan your degree and assist you with finalising your enrolment.

Further enrolment information can also be found here.

An indicative list of courses offered by Science can be found here.

Please follow each step and read through the additional information in the pdf guides, especially the ISIS enrolment guide in Step 2 and the How to enrol guide for new students in Step 3.

If you have any issues enrolling yourself through ISIS please contact us on 02 6125 2809 or email science.enquiries@anu.edu.au 

Do you want to talk to someone before enrolling?

Contact Fenner School at fses.coursework.enquiries@anu.edu.au

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