ENS5020 - Perspectives on sustainability - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Annette Bos

Dr Megan Farrelly

Mr David Robertson

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit, together with ENS5010, sets the context for considering the interactions and interdependence between nature and society and the basic principles of sustainability (social, economic and environmental), as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals.

This unit explores the values and perspectives of stakeholders alongside existing social structures that inform and affect how global challenges (as taught in unit ENS5010) are perceived and acted upon.

Within society there are varied understandings of the relationships between the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability. How sustainability is viewed and addressed is shaped by a diversity of multi-stakeholder perspectives and value systems along with their capacity to influence economic, regulatory, and policy regimes.

This unit develops student's capacity to map and critically analyse:

  1. multi-stakeholders and social structures affecting sustainability; ii) different ideological, cultural, philosophical, psychological and disciplinary perspectives on sustainability; and,

    iii) their implications for policymaking, development of business cases, disciplinary research, and action.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate and critique the historical roots, conceptual notions, frameworks and current debates on sustainability and sustainable development.
  2. Examine environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability, and their interactions, through analysing different philosophical and ideological values and perspectives on sustainability and sustainable development.
  3. Recognise the complex economic, regulatory and policy regimes that stakeholders influence and are shaped by.
  4. Integrate the perspectives of different disciplines within an interdisciplinary context.
  5. Plan practical courses of action, policy-making and business cases by considering and analysing the implications of differing stakeholder perspectives and social structures.
  6. Construct, articulate and effectively communicate critical and analytical arguments, in oral and written form, relevant to discussions of sustainability worldviews and philosophies.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

  • Contact hours equivalent to minimum 4 hours per week.
  • Additional requirements for at least 20 hours of independent work.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Enrolment in the Master of Environment and Sustainability, Master of Environmental Management and Sustainability, Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management or Master of Business