• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Development Studies, Environmental Studies More...
  • Major code SUSC-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate


High quality, integrative research plays a critical role in identifying pathways towards sustainability. The Sustainability Science major builds the fundamental understandings and skills necessary to develop research projects that effectively address complex problems of environment and sustainable development. It focuses on a core set of research skills- and design-based courses, with key choices in areas of quantitative, qualitative and spatial approaches. The skills developed in these courses are extended and applied in a wide range of research and policy relevant courses. This is a ‘hands-on’ major, with many opportunities to conduct small-scale research built into its components.

The major is intended to complement more topic-related minors (e.g. Soil and Land Management, Climate Science and Policy, Environmental Policy) by developing and strengthening broad-based research skills and embedding them in an understanding of the role of research in addressing complex sustainability issues. Its completion at the appropriate level is good preparation for fourth-year Honours (see the Honours section of the ENVS entry in the Undergraduate Handbook), and is recommended for students considering a future career in sustainability-related research.

Learning Goals:

On completing the Sustainability Science major, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Build an understanding of the role of research in sustainability, both within and beyond academic domains.
  2. Learn and apply the fundamental skills and processes of research design, as they apply to sustainability-related challenges.
  3. Learn and apply a range of research methods from different disciplines.
  4. Integrate different forms of disciplinary research into more complex, problem-oriented approaches.
  5. Develop and conduct research both individually and in teams.
  6. Apply a range of written, oral and visual communication skills to communicate research outcomes effectively.

Other Information

Advice to Students

What 1st year courses should you enrol in?   ENVS1001 plus a maximum of 6 units chosen from ENVS1003, ENVS1004, ENVS1008, STAT1003 or EMSC1006.

Courses from outside the Fenner School may be accepted for this major, subject to approval by the major convener or the Fenner School Associate Director (Education).

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this Sustainability Science major.

Please note that students undertaking a Bachelor of Science in a Flexible Double Degree will only be able to choose courses with ENVS codes from the lists above to count towards a science degree.

Areas of Interest

  • Geography
  • Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability
  • Resource Management and Environmental Science
  • Development Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Policy Studies
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

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

Code Title Units
ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability 6
ENVS2011 Human Ecology 6
ENVS3021 Human Futures 6
ENVS3040 Complex Environmental Problems in Action 6

A maximum of 6 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research 6
ENVS1004 Australia's Environment 6
ENVS1008 Sustainable Development 6
STAT1003 Statistical Techniques 6
EMSC1006 The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Science 6

A minimum of 12 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
BIOL2202 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biology 6
ENVS2014 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability 6
ENVS2015 GIS and Spatial Analysis 6
SOCY2038 Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods 6

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

Code Title Units
ENVS3001 Climate Change Science & Policy in Practice 6
ENVS3002 Sustainable Agricultural Practices 6
ENVS3004 Land and Catchment Management 6
ENVS3005 Water Resource Management 6
ENVS3007 Participatory Resource Management: Working with Communities and Stakeholders 6
ENVS3008 Fire in the Environment 6
ENVS3010 Independent Research Project 6-12
ENVS3013 Climatology 6
ENVS3014 Ecological Assessment and Management 6
ENVS3016 Special Topic 6
ENVS3020 Climate Change Science & Policy 6
ENVS3026 Geomorphology: Landscape Evolution under Changing Climate 6
ENVS3028 Environmental Policy 6
ENVS3029 Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction 6
ENVS3033 International Environmental Policy 6
ENVS3039 Biodiversity Conservation 6
ENVS3041 Managing Forested Landscapes 6
INDG3002 Indigenous Peoples and Development 6
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