Master of Environmental Science

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

The Master in Environmental Science is a launch pad into leadership for professionals in the environmental sector. If you are a new graduate keen to kick-start your career, or a professional looking to up-skill or gain formal qualifications, then this one-and-a-half-year course is the perfect option.

Drawing on a wide range of science-based disciplines and applications—from ecology to solar power, analytical chemistry to geomorphology—the Master of Environmental Science gives you a grounding in basic environmental issues, while also offering great flexibility in what subjects you take and how deep you delve into them.

The course’s focus is on linking your education in environmental sciences (such as ecology, climate change and chemistry) with studies in politics and law, project evaluation and assessment, decision-making and conflict resolution. As a result, you will be able to understand the environmental problems that can arise and the disparate solutions that can be applied to solve them. You can also pursue your particular interest with our range of electives, which include marine science, Australasian wildlife, sustainable development, law and the environment, geographic information science, and more.

As a Master of Environmental Science student, you'll be taught by leading experts at the University of Sydney, which has been top-ranked for Environmental Science and Management in the world (Excellence in Research for Australia evaluations for 2012). Our graduates leave with a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base and the ability to apply their knowledge with flexibility and innovation as leaders in the workplace.

Course outline

View a sample study plan/course structure table.

Study plan

Students follow the study pattern of the core units of study and electives as required. You may undertake the course on a full time or part time basis. You will complete a total of 72 credit points (cp) of study for the award comprising: 30cp of core units of study and 42cp of elective units of study. Please note however, that due to the nature of timetabling, the timetables of units from other programs may clash with the units of this course, and it is your responsibility to plan your course of study carefully. Subject to the availability of suitable projects and supervisors, candidates with a credit average in 24cp may be admitted to the research project. For more information, contact the course coordinator.

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Should candidates wish to undertake research project units of study within their course, they must maintain a distinction average result or above, normally over at least the first four units of study. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

Capstone experience

A capstone experience comprises one or more units of study designed to provide an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during the course, synthesise this with prior learning and experience, and draw conclusions that will form the basis for further investigation, and intellectual and/or professional growth. A compulsory capstone unit RESP5001 (6 credit points) provides integrated research methodology training.

An elective research project is also available comprising ENVI5502, ENVI5503 and ENVI5504 (combined: 18 credit points). Candidates complete a research project on a topic in environmental science which may include a field or laboratory component, or may be entirely literature-based. The project enables candidates to develop skills in cross-disciplinary thinking and project management.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Master of Environmental Science graduates are found in a variety of professional roles, ranging from analytical scientist and environmental indicator monitor, to policy-maker and environmental or catchment manager. Within Australia, our graduates have acquired jobs in federal, state and local government bodies including State Forests NSW, the Roads and Transport Authority, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as with private consultancies.

Further study

Many of our graduates have successfully pursued further study in a range of internationally recognised academic programs. If you would like to be part of Sydney's research community, you may wish to consider applying for admission to a higher degree by research. Research can be completed through a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Students completing a research degree undertake supervised research in specialised area of environmental science and submit a written thesis at the completion of their studies. You can search for potential research projects and supervisors at Research Supervisor Connect.

Admission

Admission requirements

For admission into this course, you should have:
(a) a Bachelor of Science with a credit average in one of the following disciplines: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, ecology, climate and atmospheric sciences, marine science, geology, geography, environmental studies, environmental engineering, agriculture and/or natural resource management; or
(b) a Bachelor of Science with Honours in one for the disciplines listed above; or
(c) a Bachelor degree from any discipline with a credit average in addition to successfully completing 6 credit points of biology, 6 credit points of chemistry and 6 credit points of geography (total 18 credit points).

A credit average means a minimum Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 65.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements for admission into the Master of Environmental Science may wish to consider applying for entry into the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science or the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Science.

As part of the embedded program, upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Science, students may gain entry to the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science through an internal “upgrade”. In turn, upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science, students may gain entry to the Master of Environmental Science through an internal “upgrade”.

A very limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) may be available to domestic applicants for this course from year to year. For S1, 2017 commencements, all domestic applicants who apply by 31 January 2017 and are successful for admission into this course are automatically ranked and assessed for CSP by the Faculty of Science on the basis of academic merit. No additional application to the Faculty is required. Only top-ranked applicants will be granted CSP, subject to yearly availability. Late applicants will not be considered for CSP.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Apply online by clicking 'Apply Now' on the right hand side of this page. Keep in mind that you may need to supply supporting documentation and this will be outlined in the online application form. You may need to scan, upload and attach supporting documentation to your application. You can also save your application and finish completing it at a later date. Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty of Science.

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University by using the online application form, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent). Apply online by clicking 'Apply Now' on the right hand side of this page. Keep in mind that you may need to supply supporting documentation and this will be outlined in the online application form. You may need to scan, upload and attach supporting documentation to your application. You can also save your application and finish completing it at a later date. Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty of Science.

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Student Contribution Amount

The student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the 2017 amount payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol.

For further information about how to calculate your specific total student contribution, please refer to the University's Tuition Fees website.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students

The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

Student profiles