• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Management & Development
  • Areas of interest Environmental Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Robert Costanza
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

To a large extent, policies drive   environmental outcomes.  Accordingly, we need to develop ways to   consider how policies create and deal with pressing environmental issues as   well as mechanisms to force actions in order to improve outcomes.  This   course provides students with an understanding of the theory and practice of   key Environmental Assessment (EA) approaches that are the principle means of   integrating environmental considerations into governmental decision-making.    Course participants study how EAs have evolved since the 1960s to become   important strategies for institutionalizing environmental reform, the role of   public participation and science in environmental decision-making, and how   political, social and economic dynamics affect decisions.  Drawing upon   involvement by industry, state and civil society practitioners, participants   will learn to apply the basic principles of environmental assessment to   critically assess development proposals, develop public consultation   strategies, evaluate monitoring and mitigation in environmental management   plans. Following recent shifts to approaches informed by ecological   modernization and new environmental policy instruments, participants will   also consider the processes of categorizing social and environmental impacts,   of carrying out assessments, and of setting out minimum management standards,   have been extended beyond the conventional EA processes to environmental   management systems and standard and market- based regulation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the theoretical principles and conceptual development of Environmental Assessment.
  2. Demonstrate an appreciation of tools and processes for, and practice of, environmental assessment and management;
  3. Demonstrate skills in assessing development projects, policies and program documents;
  4. Drawing on key social science readings, analyze and evaluate environmental problems and policy problems affecting EA practices.
  5. Evaluate the role, strengths and limitations of various assessment tools among a suite of policy approaches used in environmental decision making.
  6. Demonstrate understanding of how complex socio-political and economic contexts affect environmental decision making
  7. Identify, assess and articulate how social relationships and political contexts affect how assessment practices function, especially in shaping the trade-offs that occur between competing interests during assessment processes.

Other Information

Students will learn to apply the basic principles of environmental assessment to critically assess development   proposals, develop public consultation strategies, and evaluate monitoring   and mitigation in environmental management plans, and consider how Strategic   Environmental Assessment (SEA) principles might be built into decision making.

Indicative Assessment

  1. (null) [LO null]
  2. The course will be assessed on the basis of student performance infour primarytask areas: (null) [LO null]
  3. 3 reaction papers based on an assigned reading (3 reaction papers of 300 words each times, worth 5% each = 15%); (5) [LO null]
  4. Seminar oral presentation (10%); (10) [LO null]
  5. Assignment 1: Short essay on contemporary EIA policy (2,000 words, 35%); (35) [LO null]
  6. Assignment 2: Preparation of a Preliminary Environmental Assessment for a real world project (2,500 words, 40%). (40) [LO null]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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Contact hours 3 hours per week; study and assignment preparation 5 hours per week.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

None specified


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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
4538 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View
4800 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 Online View

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