APG5553 - Field studies in sustainable development - 2018

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Politics and International Relations

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Eleanor Gordon



Not offered in 2018





This field studies unit explores the concept of sustainable development in Asia and draws attention to the practical constraints and issues associated with translating the Sustainable Development Goals into regional policy and practice. Working across multiple development sectors and with a range of local partners, the unit provides students with the opportunity to apply inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural problem solving skills outside the classroom, while contributing to a local organisation, as detailed in point 3 below.

The unit is divided into four phases. Students will:

  1. Attend pre-departure preparatory workshops in Melbourne. Topics covered include understanding the Sustainable Development Goals and their implementation, an overview of sustainable development issues in the host country, and an overview of cross-cultural norms, safety and logistical information.
  2. Participate in a week long journey across a specific region/area in the host country where students will meet with a variety of groups to discuss sustainable development challenges. Themes include: post-conflict transitions, livelihood development, sustainable resource management, gender empowerment, disaster management, migration; climate change, ecotourism; urbanisation, disabilities, and sustainability education.
  3. In the host-country, work in a small team to provide a service to a partner organisation addressing a specific organizational need over a two-week period. Examples of a service includes conducting a needs assessment, designing and writing monitoring and evaluation reports, event coordination, stakeholder research, conducting a gender analysis, designing training programs, writing project and grant proposals, or developing a communication and media strategy.
  4. Attend a briefing workshop prior to leaving the country to share and reflect on their work.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students are expected to:

  1. identify, describe, and interpret the concept of sustainable development in the context of development practice;
  2. demonstrate advanced understanding of the complex constraints, issues and opportunities associated with translating the Sustainable Development Goals into practice;
  3. critique and integrate theoretical knowledge and frameworks acquired through their studies to practical situations;
  4. apply practical skills including working in interdisciplinary teams and cross-cultural skills;
  5. reflect upon skills required to work in the area of sustainable development and identify skills they wish to develop further and;
  6. effectively present complex ideas about sustainable development practice.


Fieldwork in an overseas country


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study