Monash University

Postgraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2014 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2014 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts

Managing facultyArts
Abbreviated titleMSust
CRICOS code075340D
Total credit points required72
Standard duration of study (years)1.5 years FT, 3 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Tel: 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) Web address:

Course coordinator

Ruth Lane


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


This interdisciplinary course is designed to meet the needs of graduates from a wide range of backgrounds who wish to enhance their qualifications for careers in environmental governance, corporate sustainability management, or international development, encompassing policy and analysis, planning, consulting, education, advocacy and targeting areas such as water management, natural resource management and climate change. It is also designed for those who wish to broaden and deepen their understanding and experience to enable societal, organisational and individual change and foster responsible action to support sustainability both domestically and internationally. The course comprises three distinct streams, focussing on environment and governance, corporate sustainability management, and international development and natural resource management. All three streams offer potential for a research or internship project component, providing students the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary real-world contexts to combine theory and practice in responding to local and global issues at community, corporate and government levels.


Environment and governance

This stream is for students who wish to broaden and deepen their understanding and experience to enable societal and governmental change and responsible action to support sustainability, and to enhance their qualifications for careers in environmental policy and analysis, planning, consulting, education, advocacy and management. Core units provide knowledge and skills to critically analyse problems of environmental governance and sustainability and to propose realistic solutions, while a wide range of electives cater for specialised needs and interests.

Corporate environmental and sustainability management

This stream is designed to meet the growing need for skilled professionals that have competencies in both business and environmental/sustainability management and who understand the nexus between the two. It is vocationally oriented and flexible, to accommodate students who have only business or environmental backgrounds, people with significant industry experience, and people wishing to move into the field.

International development and natural resource management

This stream is for students who wish to pursue careers or enhance their professional skills in the fields of international development and natural resource management. Core units introduce students to comparative perspectives on development and environment, and integrative approaches to management of natural resources and landscapes. The stream provides rigorous theoretical and practical training in analysis of international development policies and programs targeting urban environments, climate change, biodiversity conservation, food security, management of rural livelihoods and commons resources, and privatisation of ecosystem services.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 9, the Bologna Cycle 2 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • demonstrate a sound knowledge of diverse aspects of the academic discipline
  • articulate and apply an understanding of the world view of the field of study
  • demonstrate a critical appreciation of the secondary literature in the field of study
  • apply a critical familiarity with many of the key texts and cultural products pertaining to the field of study
  • apply advanced reading and communication skills, both written and verbal
  • demonstrate advanced analytical skills
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of research methodology and ethics, and an ability to undertake a small, independent research project in one of the disciplines represented in the program.


This course consists of one core unit, and additional core units in one of the streams, plus electives and for students who meet the criteria the option for a research and/or internship project comprising 12 or 24 points of their degree. Students must complete a minimum of 24 points taken at level five.

All units are 6 points unless otherwise indicated.


Students in all streams complete:

  • APG4425 Perspectives on environment and sustainability

Students select one of the streams below and complete the required units for that stream, as well as choose electives from the list below.

Environment and governance

Students must complete:

  • APG4427 Frontiers in sustainability and environment
  • APG5426 Environmental analysis
  • APG5428 Environmental governance and citizenship

Stream Coordinator: Dr. Ruth Lane

Corporate environmental and sustainability management

Students must complete:

  • BTX9100 Sustainability regulation
  • APG5433 Corporate sustainability management
  • APG5434 Sustainability measurement

Stream Coordinator: Dr. Wendy Stubbs

International development and natural resource management

Students must complete:

  • APG4627 Research in political ecology
  • APG4556 Urbanisation and regional development in the Indo-Pacific rim or APG4628 Doctrines of development
  • APG5804 Environmental revolutions
  • APG5805 The art and business of international development

Stream Coordinator: Dr. Craig Thorburn

Elective units

Students must complete electives sufficient to bring the total number of points for the degree to 72 credit points, which for eligible students can include a final project. Electives may be chosen from across the University with permission from the stream coordinator and, if no equivalent unit is available at Monash, from other universities. If required, electives may be chosen from level three offerings, but only to a maximum of 12 points. Students must ensure that they complete a total of at least 24 points at level five.

Elective units can be identified using the browse units toolbrowse units tool ( and indexes of unitsindexes of units ( in the current edition of the Handbook. The level of the unit is indicated by the first number in the unit code. Note: Some non-arts units may require permission from the owning faculty.

Core units from the other streams not completed by the student in this course may also be taken as electives.

For the list of elective units available, contact the School of Geography and Environmental Science.

Final project

In order to undertake a final project students must achieve an average grade of 75 per cent or above in the core and elective units, and permission of the research unit coordinator via submission of a satisfactory one-page proposal of the research project.

The course offers two final project options:

  • a supervised research thesis that enables students to consolidate the theoretical knowledge and analytical skills acquired in the coursework components in a research context
  • an industry internship placement that provides students the opportunity to apply and consolidate the knowledge and professional skills they have acquired through the coursework components within the practical context of a business, government, nongovernmental or community organisation.

Students electing to undertake a final project may only enrol in these units after consultation with the stream coordinator, and after successful completion of the final project entry requirements. Students intending to enrol in either of the research project options below are strongly recommended to have completed ATS4587 (Reseach methods in geography, environment and sustainability) - the units supporting the final research project assume that students have undertaken ATS4587 and therefore have a grounding in research design.

Eligible students can choose to replace 12-24 points of elective units with one or two of the following:

  • APG5780 Conceptualising environment and sustainability research project (12 points)
  • APG5781 Implementing environment and sustainability research project (12 points)
  • APG5763 Sustainability internship (12 points)

Progression to further studies

Students who undertake the 24-point research project option and achieve at least a distinction (70 per cent) are eligible to apply for a higher degree by research.

Alternative exit(s)

Students may apply to exit after successful completion of:

  • 24 points with a Graduate Certificate in Arts
  • 48 points with a Graduate Diploma in Sustainability


Master of Sustainability