Current Undergraduates

In the field and in the lab

Teaching is the lifeblood of the Department. And we take a hands-on approach – with both students and staff. Our focus is the practice of theory, because that’s what builds better results in the lab and in the field. We also pride ourselves on our collegial, democratic culture, which enables students to explore their own interests and talents, supported by a highly accessible academic staff.

Every student in our Department has the chance to get their hands dirty – frequently – throughout his or her study. Our program of field trips and practical activities is unrivalled in this country, offering students the ability to make immediate and meaningful connections about how their learning can be applied.

Field trips

Image of students in the field

Field trips commence even before study begins – in fact, for introductory soil science students in year two of their degree, with a two-day field trip to the university farms at Cobbitty during O-Week.

Field trips include:

  • Laos Field Trip
  • Northern NSW Excursion
  • Central NSW Excursion
  • Southern NSW Excursion
  • Cooma Grassland Fieldtrip
  • Cotton & Pasture Agronomy Field Trip
  • Muttama Catchment Field Trip
  • Hunter Valley Field Trip
  • Pilbara Field Trip

“One of the best decisions I’ve ever made”

Image of student in the field

“Enrolling in this degree was of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We constantly tackle the big issues such as food security and climate change, using a holistic approach that balances natural environment with agriculture, urban with rural, and applied science with a strong theory base.

“Classes are almost always small which creates a great atmosphere and provides opportunities to excel. Many lecturers are happy to share their current research, which means many practicals and assignments are conducted with real data, as they would be in a job situation, creating invaluable analytical skills.

“The absolute highlight of this degree however has been the strong emphasis on developing in-field practical skills which has taken us all over Australia: from Queensland to Victoria along the eastern seaboard, inland New South Whales to semi-arid zones, across to the Pilbara region of Western Australia and off-shore to New Zealand to compare landscapes.

“This has given me a great appreciation for the diversity on the Australian landscape; its environmental requirements and the diverse approach that is needed for a sustainable future. I have gained skills that I would comfortably take into employment, and equally feel as though I could continue studying in this field. Mostly, I’ve had loads of fun!”

- Rachel Walker, Graduate, Bachelor of Environmental Systems

“You don’t just learn about issues, you really begin to care about them.”

"I chose the Environmental Systems degree because I wanted to do something relating to environment and science to learn more about how the natural world works. What I found is that this is a degree where you don’t just learn about issues in the environment or agriculture, you really begin to care about them. It gives you the chance to learn about the things that really matter to our world.

“My experience is that this degree will push you, but at the same time offer great interaction with lecturers and plenty of practical learning. You can become part of a tight-knit faculty in an environment where you really get to know your classmates – academically and socially.

“If you love hands-on learning then that is a real highlight and defining aspect of the degree. You learn to use software and field techniques that you will actually apply in your career, whether it’s in the field or with data: analysing, making recommendations, evaluating. That makes it a great springboard into a career or further study.”

- Lisa Deng, Graduate, Bachelor of Environmental Systems