Environmental Science

Year and Campus: 2017


Professor Michael McCarthy


Email: query-environment@unimelb.edu.au


Environmental Science is offered as a major field of study in the Master of Environment degree.

The Environmental Science major will attract students seeking an interdisciplinary scientific perspective, for work largely in scientific and environmental careers. Graduates should be well placed to offer leadership through a solid understanding of environmental modelling, monitoring and assessment techniques, and application of technology.

This major will provide an appreciation for the role of modelling in environmental science; an overview of the range of environmental models in use; the skills required to model environmental systems and processes; an introduction to the construction and mathematical analysis of environmental models; and a high level of ability to analyse and evaluate environmental issues.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete the Master of Environment will have:

  • Knowledge to undertake professional practice in environment or sustainability, including:
    • Specialised knowledge in an environmental discipline or field of practice, including knowledge of recent developments in this field
    • Knowledge of the cross-disciplinary nature of environmental issues and professional practice to promote sustainable futures
    • Knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to specialist field of environmental inquiry
  • Skills for collaborative and creative problem solving in environmental practice, including:
    • Ability to critically analyse and synthesise environmental knowledge
    • Ability to envision environmental change and propose pathways to realise this change
    • Ability to communicate complex environmental knowledge and research effectively to a range of audiences
    • Ability to work effectively in cross-disciplinary teams
    • Technical skills for professional practice and research in field of specialisation
  • Demonstrated capacity to:
    • Exercise well developed judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner in an environmental discipline or professional field
    • Plan and execute a substantial project in an area of environmental research or practice

Upon completion of the Environmental Science major, students will be able to:

  • Describe major current global environmental challenges facing scientists and policy-makers;
  • Discuss the relevance of a range of scientific disciplines to environmental management including meteorology, ecology, toxicology, hydrology, geology and epidemiology;
  • Analyse the role of various evidentiary approaches to supporting science-based arguments including empirical observation and analysis, modelling and use of expert opinion; and
  • Judge the merit of scientific arguments made in documents related to environmental policy
Structure & Available Subjects:

Students will be required to complete the three core subjects, plus choose two subjects from the compulsory specialisation subject list. Students in the 200 point pathway must also take at least 12.5 points of subjects from the compulsory capstone subjects – these subjects enable students to complete an independent project related to professional practices in environment science. Students in the 100 point pathway will not normally be required to complete this component. Student must also undertake electives to make up the balance of the award. The selection of electives is made in consultation with the Environmental Science major coordinator. More information about this stream can be found here:


To enter the Environmental Science stream, students must have completed the equivalent of at least 25 points of subjects (quarter of a full-time year of study) in one of the following areas: Biology, Chemistry or Earth Sciences.

Subject Options:

Core Subjects

Students are required to complete the subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Compulsory Subjects

and choose 2 subjects from the list of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Compulsory Capstone Subjects

Students must complete at least 12.5 points from the following compulsory capstone subjects - please note that if you select either a 25 or 50 point research project that spreads across two semesters you must enrol into the Part 1 and Part 2 subjects over consecutive semesters. Students in the 100 point pathway will normally be exempt from this requirement.


Students should make up the balance of the award with electives. Subjects in the list below are recommended. Other subjects may be taken with the approval of stream coordinator.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Not offered in 2017
Not offered in 2017
Not offered in 2017
Not offered in 2017
January, Semester 1, Semester 2
January, Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Links to further information: http://www.environment.unimelb.edu.au/

Other subjects may be approved at the discretion of the coordinator.

Related Course(s): Master of Environment
Master of Environment

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