• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Development Studies, Policy Studies
  • Minor code HECL-MIN
  • Academic career Undergraduate


The health and wellbeing of humans depends upon the capacity of the biosphere to provide the ecosystem services that sustain them. It is now clear that humans are currently using these services at rates which cannot be sustained. The challenge is for societies to change so as to put themselves on pathways towards sustainable futures. However, initiatives designed to do this must take into account the social and cultural dimensions of such change. The challenge is to couple knowledge about biospheric processes and limits with consideration of human values, judgments and motivation, health, wellbeing and dignity, and ethical dimensions of justice and fairness. To do this coherently, Human Ecology develops integrative transdisciplinary frameworks that can combine insights from a range of disciplines concerned with the human condition with knowledge of ecosystem and Earth processes. The resulting understanding helps formulate pathways towards more humane and sustainable futures.

Learning Goals:

On completing the minor in Human Ecology students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the complex, multi-scaled interactions that characterise human-ecological situations and their associated problems.
  2. Apply advanced systems thinking to understand human-ecological problems in terms of more basic, simple and easily grasped concepts and processes.
  3. Apply critical methodological approaches to evaluate current human-ecological interactions and to critically evaluate proposed alternatives.
  4. Apply a range of written, oral and visual communication skills to effectively convey and discuss information about human-ecological change processes, and
  5. Demonstrate the ability to engage with community, government or private institutions and companies dealing with managing and improving human-ecological interactions across a range of scales.

Other Information

Advice to Students

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this minor.

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.

Back to the top


This minor requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:

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

Code Title Units
ENVS2011 Human Ecology 6

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

Code Title Units
ENVS2012 Sustainable Systems: Urban 6
ENVS2013 Society and Environmental Change 6
ENVS2014 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability 6
ENVS2022 Sustainable Systems: Rural 6
ENVS2025 Indigenous Cultural and Natural Resource Management 6
ENVS3007 Participatory Resource Management: Working with Communities and Stakeholders 6
ENVS3010 Independent Research Project 6-12
ENVS3028 Environmental Policy 6
PHIL2114 Sustainability, System and Agency 6
VCUG3001 Unravelling Complexity 6

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

Code Title Units
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
ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability 6
ENVS1008 Sustainable Development 6
ENVS2005 Island Sustainable Development: Fiji Field School 6-12
ENVS2007 Economics for the Environment 6
ENVS2017 Vietnam Field School 6-12
ENVS3001 Climate Change Science & Policy in Practice 6
ENVS3020 Climate Change Science & Policy 6
ENVS3033 International Environmental Policy 6
INDG3002 Indigenous Peoples and Development 6
Back to the top

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions