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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Sustainability Assessment (ENV617)

Organisational Unit Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Credit Points 3
Description This unit explores the theory and practice of planning and decision-making for sustainability in the context of organisations (private, community-based, government) and sectors. Sustainability principles are explored with emphasis on an integrated approach and systems thinking. A range of tools and techniques for sustainability assessment and evaluation of existing or proposed development activities are applied. This unit is suitable for all graduate students with interest or professional need to understand and implement sustainability in their policy, management activities and organisations.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
1. Understand the principles of sustainability including equity, well-being, social justice, political, socio-economic and environmental factors and how they interact through application of systems thinking and other integrated approaches to sustainability assessment.
2. Understand and apply a range of sustainability assessment tools and techniques to evaluate the effectiveness of process and outcome-based sustainability initiatives with reference to practical examples and case studies.
3. Develop critical and creative thinking skills for sustainability planning, management and leadership, and be able to effectively communicate this knowledge in written and oral forms.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lecture/workshops: 2x 3 hour workshops.
Unit Learning Experiences The approach to learning in this unit uses a subject-centred learning approach. Learning occurs through interactive workshops during in-class contact, discussions and an oral presentation to fellow students, and supported independent research activity. Interaction with fellow students and the unit coordinator is available continuously through online discussion forums.
Assessment The Sectoral Sustainability Review Report assignment (30%) [2,500 words, due early semester] tests understanding of sustainability assessment principles covered in the first half of the unit. Written feedback is provided. The Poster Presentation: Developing a Sustainability Assessment Framework assignment (40%) [500 word poster + oral presentation, due mid-semester] requires oral and written presentations. It tests learning material for the unit regarding sustainability assessment process design for a practical case study. Verbal (including from peers) and written feedback it provided. The Report: Developing a Sustainability Assessment Framework assignment (30%) [2,500 words, late-semester] tests the student's ability to integrate learning on sustainability assessment theory and practice from the overall unit. Written feedback is provided.
Prerequisites Enrolment in Master of Environmental Science or Master of Protected Area Management.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Master of Environmental Science (MEnvSc)
Master of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (MRenSusEn)
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Associate Professor Angus Morrison-Saunders
Adjunct Professor

e: A.Morrison-Saunders@murdoch.edu.au
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