• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Human Ecology, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Development Studies More...
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Lorrae Van Kerkhoff
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course ENVS1008
  • Offered in Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

Twenty-five years on from the first call for sustainable development, we are still struggling with fundamental questions surrounding what it is, how we can usefully characterise it and, most importantly, how to actually achieve it. In this course we critically examine the concept of sustainable development, explore its history, and analyse the present-day challenges it presents. Drawing on international case studies in both developed and developing countries, as well as global initiatives, we investigate the goals of sustainability as they relate to environmental, social and economic goals.

Students are introduced to a range of viewpoints, theories and frameworks useful for thinking about and understanding social and environmental change in the context of sustainable development. We explore a range of contemporary sustainability issues, at local, national and global scales. Using case studies and problem-based learning, students draw connections and apply concepts and techniques that may help inform practical solutions and shape our collective future. 

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

      1. Describe an advanced understanding of the current principles and practice of sustainable development as it is manifested at local, national and global levels.
      2. Recognise, understand and explain the complexity of linkages between drivers, pressures, impacts and responses for contemporary sustainable development challenges, and critically evaluate related interventions.
      3. Draw on current theories and science to anticipate future trajectories and apply recognised principles to guide sustainable development decision-making.
      4. Apply sophisticated research, writing and presentation skills to complex issues

          Indicative Assessment

            • Individual written review and synthesis of advanced reading material (10%; LO 1, 3, 4)
            • Individual written critical analysis report applying a theoretical framework to a provided case study (25%; LO 1, 2, 3,4)
            • Personal reflection linking sustainable development theory, practice, and lived experience (25% LO 1, 2, 4)
            • Essay on principles of sustainable development as they apply to the final case study (40% LO 1, 2, 3, 4) 

            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.


            60 hours of contact, comprising lectures, tutorial, practicals, and fieldwork

            Requisite and Incompatibility

            You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS1008

            Areas of Interest

            • Geography
            • Human Ecology
            • Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability
            • Resource Management and Environmental Science
            • Development Studies
            • Environmental Studies
            • Human Sciences
            • Population Studies


            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:
            Band 2
            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.

            Units EFTSL
            6.00 0.12500
            Domestic fee paying students
            Year Fee
            2019 $3840
            International fee paying students
            Year Fee
            2019 $5460
            Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

            Offerings and Dates

            The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

            Second Semester

            Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
            7677 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person

            Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions