• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Environmental Studies, Policy Studies, Sociology
  • Major code ENST-MAJ

The environment is a major discourse and force in society. It is an entity that is simultaneously responsive to and independent of social action, and that transcends human cultures and sovereign borders. It is a point of continuity and shared structure for all living things, and all forms of life are dependent on its vital energies and natural assets. And yet, human and non-human social agents are located in, experience and respond to different environments. Its changing form and localised manifestations make the environment an essential topic of social scientific study, especially in an age of climate transformation. The major in Environmental Social Science exposes students to the complex and dynamic relationships between social and environmental systems, processes and change. Students undertaking the major will be taught about environmental matters from a diverse range of disciplines and perspectives, such as sociology, biological anthropology, history, development studies, indigenous studies, policy studies, geography, human ecology, and sustainability science. A focal point for analysis is the interactivity between humans and the non-human environment in various contexts, as well as the impacts and implications of global and everyday events on environmental processes, and vice versa. Students will be provided with the inter-disciplinary knowledge and research skills necessary to engage with the wicked environmental issues confronting societies of today and of the future, and with the opportunity to translate these attributes into various outputs and interventions.

Learning Outcomes

  1. understand the dynamic relationships between social and environmental systems, processes and change;

  2. critically assess the impact and implications of social practices on the natural environment, and the effect of the natural environment on social practices, especially as these relate to commercial processes of natural resource production and consumption, governance and social inequalities more broadly;

  3. apply interdisciplinary approaches to address complex environmental challenges in a variety of contexts (e.g. climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainability in economic development, rurality and regional planning, land care, public participation, wildlife conservation and cultural heritage);

  4. gather and analyse relevant social scientific and ecological data, as well as non-western perspectives, for creating adaptive and holistic responses to environmental issues; and

  5. apply a range of conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches in conducting environmental research and formulating environmental policy strategies.

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Advice to Students

INDG3004 Indigenous Studies Supervised Research Project must be completed in an Environmental Studies topic.

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

  • A maximum of 12 units may come from completion of 1000-level courses
  • A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of 3000-level courses

The 48 units must consist of:

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

ENVS1001 - Environment and Society: Geography of Sustainability (6 units)

ENVS2011 - Human Ecology (6 units)

SOCY2022 - Environmental Sociology (6 units)

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

ENVS1003 - Introduction to Environmental and Social Research (6 units)

ENVS1004 - Australia's Environment (6 units)

ENVS1008 - Sustainable Development (6 units)

SCOM1001 - Science Communication 1: Science and Public Awareness (6 units)

SOCR1001 - Foundations of Social Research (6 units)

SOCY1002 - Self and Society (6 units)

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

ENVS2002 - Environmental Measurement, Modelling and Monitoring (6 units)

ENVS2007 - Economics for the Environment (6 units)

ENVS2014 - Qualitative Research Methods for Sustainability (6 units)

ENVS2015 - GIS and Spatial Analysis (6 units)

SOCY2038 - Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (6 units)

SOCY2043 - Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (6 units)

SOCY2169 - Online Research Methods (6 units)

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

ANTH2005 - Traditional Australian Indigenous Cultures, Societies and Environment (6 units)

ANTH2132 - Food for Thought: Anthropological theories of food and eating (6 units)

ANTH2133 - Social Animals: Anthropological Perspectives on Animal-Human Relationships (6 units)

ANTH2135 - Vietnam Field School (6-12 units)

ARCH2041 - Introduction to Environmental Archaeology (6 units)

ARTV2921 - Environment Studio: Field Based Research and Studio Practice in Visual Arts (6 units)

ASIA2093 - Natural Resource Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific (6 units)

BIAN2064 - Anthropology of Environmental Disasters (6 units)

BIAN2119 - Nutrition, Disease and the Environment (6 units)

DEMO2001 - Population Studies (6 units)

ENVS2005 - Island Sustainable Development: Fiji Field School (6-12 units)

ENVS2012 - Sustainable Urban Systems (6 units)

ENVS2013 - Society and Environmental Change (6 units)

ENVS2023 - Sustainable Agricultural Systems (6 units)

HUMN2004 - Global Vietnam: Gender, Labour and Migration (6 units)

HUMN2051 - Introduction to Cultural Heritage Management (6 units)

INDG2001 - Indigenous Cultural and Natural Resource Management (6 units)

PASI3013 - Environment and Development in the Pacific (6 units)

POLS2011 - Development and Change (6 units)

POLS3033 - Environment, Human Security and Conflict (6 units)

PHIL2126 - Science in Society: Ethics, Public Policy and Scientific Practice (6 units)

SOCY2008 - Living in the Risk Society: Health, Crime, Climate and Disasters (6 units)

SOCY2035 - Cities and Urban Transformation (6 units)

SOCY2038 - Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods (6 units)

SOCY2043 - Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods (6 units)

SOCY2101 - Social Policy: Principles and Practices (6 units)

SOCY3010 - Posthuman Bodies (6 units)

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

ANIP3003 - Australian National Internships Program Internship A (6 units)

ENVS3007 - Participatory Resource Management: Working with Communities and Stakeholders (6 units)

ENVS3015 - Essentials of Environmental Law (6 units)

ENVS3020 - Climate Change Science & Policy (6 units)

ENVS3021 - Human Futures (6 units)

ENVS3028 - Environmental Policy (6 units)

ENVS3033 - International Environmental Policy (6 units)

ENVS3039 - Biodiversity Conservation (6 units)

ENVS3040 - Complex Environmental Problems in Action (6 units)

INDG3004 - Indigenous Studies Supervised Research Project (6 units)

SOCY3001 - Research Internship (6 units)

SOCY3124 - Transforming Society: Towards a Public Sociology (6 units)

VCUG3001 - Unravelling Complexity (6 units)

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