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Sustainability Governance and Leadership (MULT90004)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2017
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeMULT90004
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Sustainability Governance & Leadership (SGL) is one of two core subjects for the Master of Environment course, and is designed to develop the knowledge and skills you will need to succeed as a sustainability leader in a world of complex challenges and global change. This subject provides you with a strong foundation in interdisciplinary understanding of critical concepts and issues, and how they relate to policy, management, leadership, and governance in a range of contexts and across different scales and sectors. You will learn to anticipate and envision environmental change, and design and implement strategic plans to manage impacts or create positive pathways.

Exploring the broad agenda of sustainable development, SGL considers concepts and principles fundamental to the understanding of interdependent human-nature systems, including ecology and biodiversity, social justice and equity, technology, and issues of global change. SGL covers:

  • Different perspectives on sustainability;
  • Global and local environmental challenges, including for water, energy, food, and human communities in relation their natural and built environments;
  • Vulnerability and resilience in complex social-ecological systems;
  • The processes of policy design and implementation in these areas;
  • The economics of sustainability, and the role of business and innovation in building a sustainable future; and
  • Recurring management, governance, and leadership issues for achieving environmental sustainability.

SGL includes extensive use of scenario-based learning and simulation activities.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students will have developed a critical and interdisciplinary understanding of the conceptual and practical dimensions of sustainability as they apply to a range of different scales and contexts and their implications for governance and leadership. Students will have extended their capacities for leadership and understanding of governance through the further development of their skills of analysis, interpretation, communication, collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making appropriate to the field of environmental sustainability.

Generic skills

  • Independent research on topics relevant to the subject
  • Participate successfully in group work
  • Further develop their critical thinking though readings, class discussions, collaboration and assessment
  • Further develop analytical approaches to sustainability and environmental governance and leadership
  • Further develop skills of visual, verbal and written communication

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • an individual written task of about 1,200 words due shortly after the third week of classes (20%),
  • a group verbal, visual and written report - the written report to be a combined total of about 3,000 words (approx 750 words each) due shortly after the last week of classes (30%),
  • an individual research essay of about 3,000 words due before the end of semester (40%); and
  • a class participation component including leading of tutorial discussions and engagement in scenario activities (10%)

Dates & times

  • March
    Principal coordinatorSebastian Thomas
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursSix days of classes.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 3 March 2017 to 7 April 2017
    Last self-enrol date10 March 2017
    Census date24 March 2017
    Last date to withdraw without fail28 April 2017
    Assessment period ends26 May 2017

    March contact information

  • July
    Principal coordinatorSebastian Thomas
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursSix days of classes.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period27 July 2017 to 7 September 2017
    Last self-enrol date 4 August 2017
    Census date18 August 2017
    Last date to withdraw without fail22 September 2017
    Assessment period ends22 October 2017

    July contact information

Time commitment details

Approximately 170 hours comprising time in class, preparation and assessments. The subject is taught over six Fridays (8:30am – 4:30pm) at the beginning of each semester with follow up assignment work.

Additional delivery details

Intensive. The subject is taught over six Fridays (8:30am – 4:30pm) at the beginning of each semester with follow up assignment work.

Note: In the March MULT90004 is taught in Weeks 1-6. In July MULT90004 is taught in Weeks 1-4, 6, and 7 (no classes in Week 5).

Further information

Last updated: 23 January 2019