• Total units 48 Units
  • Major code SUST-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate

High quality, integrative research plays a critical role in identifying pathways towards sustainability. The Sustainability Studies 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, and is recommended for students considering a sustainability-related career or research higher degree.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, 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.


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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must consist of:

18 units from completion of the following compulsory courses:

ENVS1001 Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability

ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research

ENVS1008 Sustainable Development


6 units from completion of courses from the following list:

ENVS3021 Human Futures

ENVS3040 Complex Environmental Problems in Action


6 units from completion of courses from the following list:

ENVS2002 Environmental Measurement, Modelling and Monitoring

ENVS2014 Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability

ENVS2015 GIS and Spatial Analysis

ENVS2018 Environmental Science Field School


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

ENVS3001 Climate Change Science & Policy in Practice

ENVS3004 Land and Catchment Management

ENVS3005 Water Management

ENVS3007 Participatory Resource Management: Working with Communities and Stakeholders

ENVS3008 Fire in the Environment

ENVS3011 Severe Weather

ENVS3013 Climatology

ENVS3014 Ecological Assessment and Management

ENVS3019 Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS

ENVS3020 Climate Change Science & Policy

ENVS3028 Environmental Policy

ENVS3029 Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction

ENVS3033 International Environmental Policy

ENVS3039 Biodiversity Conservation

ENVS3041 Managing Forested Landscapes

INDG3002 Indigenous Peoples and Development


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