• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Environmental Science, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Robert Heinsohn
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course has been adjusted for remote participation in Sem 2 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. On-campus activities will also be available.

Biodiversity Science introduces the principles and skills that underpin evidence-based conservation and management of biodiversity. Key topics include understanding why species occur where they occur, how to measure biodiversity, examining responses by species to human impacts and understanding how species become vulnerable to extinction.

This course has a strong emphasis on developing practical skills. You will gain experience surveying and identifying animals and plants. You will also learn how to use these data to support evidence-based conservation and management.

This course is delivered through a combination of weekly lectures and practical sessions, with input from world leaders in conservation biology. The practical sessions include regular field trips and interactions with public and private land managers, including a trip to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

This course develops fundamental knowledge and practical skills that are necessary for graduates seeking careers in natural resource management and other areas of environmental science. It also provides important background for those wishing to pursue careers in any field that potentially impacts on biodiversity (e.g. environmental policy and planning). This course provides the scientific underpinnings for the concepts explored in ENVS3039 Biodiversity Conservation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify key factors that influence the distribution of species.
  2. Identify and apply appropriate techniques for measuring biodiversity in a range of different environments and circumstances.
  3. Develop and test hypotheses about the impacts of human activities on biodiversity.
  4. Effectively interpret and critique biodiversity data using standard analytical and communication techniques, and communicate key information about ecosystems to a range of audiences.

Other Information

Field-based teaching and learning activity forms an integral and important part of many courses delivered by the Fenner School of Environment & Society. Fieldwork activities are designed to allow you to put the skills you have learned into practice in new environments and provide powerful enrichment to student learning. Students should contact the Course Convenor if they have any questions.

If you do not meet the requisites for this course, it may be possible to receive a permission code. If you are prompted for a permission code on ISIS, please request one online via the following form

Indicative Assessment

  1. Workshop Assignments (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Research report (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Poster (15) [LO 1,3,4]
  4. Exam (30) [LO 1,2,3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 1 hour lecture plus 1 x 4 hour workshop per week.
  • Approximately 70 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 18 units towards a degree. Incompatible ENVS2003 and ENVS6201.

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text. Reading material will be provided throughout the course.

Assumed Knowledge

Completion of ENVS1003 Introduction to Environmental and Social Research and/or ENVS1004 Australia's Environment is recommended but not assumed, and enrolment in ENVS2018 Environmental Science Field School is strongly complementary.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6414 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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