• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Development Studies More...
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Karen Hussey
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

In a time of rapid population growth, unlimited economic growth and the threat of climate change, many commentators are calling for a transformation in the way we manage our resources, environment and economies. However, bringing about such societal change is not easy, whether it be at the global, national or local level. This course considers the complex drivers behind societal change in pursuit of environmental objectives. After briefly introducing some of the theories on ecological modernisation and environmental change, and using case studies from Australia and beyond, the course will explore how societies can and do pursue environmental change, the complex relationships between society, economy and the environment which influence societal change, the role of the media in environmental issues and how society perceives them, and the links between international environmental movements and local, domestic environmental outcomes. In particular, the course will address such questions as: what are the key factors for successful societal change; what are the barriers? How does Australia’s political landscape influence the public’s capacity to exert environmental change? What can we learn from earlier transformations in society, for example the civil rights movement in the United States, or the introduction of technological innovations?

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately. 

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. understand the theories and practice of societal change and how it develops in different jurisdictions and at different scales
  2. understand and evaluate the drivers of societal change for environmental objectives, in different contexts
  3. describe and evaluate key environmental movements, and particularly the respective roles of the media, public, civil society, governments and technological developments in effecting that change
  4. employ advanced research and writing skills

Indicative Assessment

Regular attendance and participation in class work is required, and tutorial attendance is compulsory.  Assessment will be based on:

  • 1000 word report on case study of choice (30%) (LO 1, 2, 3 ,4)
  • 3,500 word essay (70%)  (LO 1, 2, 3 ,4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


52 contact hours, including lectures and tutorials.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS2013

Preliminary Reading

To be advised.

Areas of Interest

  • Geography
  • 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:
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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2540 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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