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ENV4040 - Frontiers in Sustainability and Environment

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Nigel Tapper


Clayton Second semester 2007 (On-campus)


Drawing on environmental expertise from inside and outside the university, this unit provides students with a fundamental technical understanding of a range of contemporary and emerging environmental issues such as loss of biodiversity, global warming, waste management, genetic engineering, water scarcity and management, and urban and rural sustainability. Throughout, the coordinator will ensure that social concepts and frameworks of sustainability are woven into a more comprehensive technical understanding of the environmental issues. The unit also considers responses proposed and/or implemented to address the various environmental issues.


Students successfully completing this unit will be expected to demonstrate:

  1. A fundamental understanding of the scientific basis of a range of key environmental issues.
  2. The ability to recognize that scientific understanding of major environmental issues is not complete, and that there are a range of scientific perspectives that can be brought to bear on any particular environmental issue.
  3. The ability to apply social concepts and frameworks of sustainability to key environmental issues.
  4. An awareness of the responses proposed and/or implemented in response to key environmental issues.
  5. A capacity to construct critical and analytical argument in oral and written form, relevant to discussion of major environmental issues.


Reading commentaries 1000 words 25%, Oral presentation (debate participation) Equivalent to 500 words 25%, Research essay 3000 words 50%

Contact hours

Two, two-day intensive class sessions held in weeks 3 and 5