• 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.

Relevant Degrees

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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)

HIST1210 The Great Acceleration: People and Planet Since 1945 (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)

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 Understanding Population Change (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 Risk and Society (6 units)

SOCY2030 Social Inequalities and Development (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 Practice (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 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, Society, and Policy (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)

** Advice to Students

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

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