• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Human Sciences, Sustainability Science
  • Work Integrated Learning Projects
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Steven Lade
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

Environmental problems emerge from complex interactions between biophysical processes and human actors. Achieving sustainable futures requires understanding these systems and designing responses that take them into account.

Advanced systems thinking and modelling tools are introduced to understand complex human-environment systems and to design strategies for achieving sustainable futures. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are covered. During the course, these methods are applied to cases including fisheries, agricultural communities, biodiversity conservation, food systems and climate change. The course aims to build skills for both research and professional settings.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand key current environmental issues and their implications across Australia and globally.
  2. Demonstrate advanced understanding of the conceptual foundations of systems thinking.
  3. Apply appropriate systems methods to environmental problems in research and professional context.
  4. Develop responses to environmental problems using systems methods.

Work Integrated Learning


Case studies and worked scenarios are drawn from industry partners using real world data.

Other Information

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. Learning portfolio, including individual reflections, a group work product, a computer-based analysis and an interview-based analysis (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Systems thinking project: project proposal (600 words) (10) [LO 1,2]
  3. Systems thinking project: progress presentation (10 mins) (10) [LO 3]
  4. Systems thinking project: final report (3000 words) (50) [LO 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.


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

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 17 x 3 hour teaching blocks throughout the semester. These will typically consist of 1 hour lecture and 2 hours workshops, but may be adjusted according to the needs of specific content.
  • Approximately 79 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

There is no prescribed text for this course. Please refer to the course WATTLE site for readings. Once enrolled, please complete any pre-reading before the relevant lecture.


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
2024 $4680
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
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
8457 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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