Master of Environmental Science and Law
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
Environmental science and law is the merger between the applied science that is environmental science and the social aspect of law and policy that regulates our interactions with the environment.
The Master of Environmental Science and Law allows you to undertake complementary units in the fields of environmental science and environmental law. It provides you with the opportunity to extend your scientific knowledge into environmental areas, as well as providing an introduction to the field of environmental law and policy. The program integrates disciplines which are normally considered separately and which are difficult to study concurrently outside of this program.
It also provides the opportunity for you to gain a qualification to complement your environmental experience and to acquire knowledge in areas of policy and management.
The Master of Environmental Science and Law at the University of Sydney is unique. While there are environmental law and environmental science programs available through other universities around Australia, only the University of Sydney offers the blend of law and environmental science that characterises this program. We have access to the outstanding resources of the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law based at the University of Sydney, which is well known around the world in this field, as well as to all of the scientific resources available to the environmental science program.
As recognition for the University’s outstanding research quality in the area of environmental science and management, we were rated 5 out of 5 in the latest Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings (2012).
Upon graduating from this program, you will possess a practical and theoretical background in aspects of environmental science and environmental law. This knowledge will include competency in research and general practical skills in these areas.
Units of study
For full information on Units of Study available in this course, please visit the Sydney Courses website
Full units of study list
- AFNR5801 - Climate Change: Process,History,Issues
- ENVI5501 - Environmental Research Project
- ENVI5705 - Ecological Principles
- ENVI5707 - Energy - Sources,Uses and Alternatives
- ENVI5708 - Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
- ENVI5801 - Social Science of Environment
- ENVI5809 - Environmental Simulation Modelling
- ENVI5903 - Sustainable Development
- ENVI5904 - Methods in Applied Ecology
- GEOG5001 - Geographic Information Science A
- LAWS6043 - Environmental Impact Assessment Law
- LAWS6044 - Environmental Law and Policy
- LAWS6045 - Environmental Planning Law
- LAWS6047 - Law of the Sea
- LAWS6061 - International Environmental Law
- LAWS6163 - Energy and Climate Law
- LAWS6191 - Water Law and Climate Change
- LAWS6252 - Legal Reasoning & the Common Law System
- LAWS6314 - Coastal and Marine Law
- LAWS6320 - Climate Disaster Law
- LAWS6936 - Carbon Trading,Derivatives and Taxation
- MARS5007 - Coral Reefs and Climate Change
- RESP5001 - Integrated Environmental Practice
- WILD5001 - Australasian Wildlife: Introduction
- WILD5002 - Australasian Wildlife: Field Studies
Further course information
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 of study.
The Environmental Law and Policy and Legal Reasoning and the Common Law System units are compulsory for all students. Students are able to select environmental science units to suit their specific needs and interests, but these must be completed alongside a research-oriented capstone unit.
The program consists of:
(a) 18 credit points of core units of study; and
(b) 18 credit points of Environmental Science core units of study; and
(c) 18 credit points of Environmental Law core units of study;
(d) 18 credit points of units of study selected from the remaining core units of study or elective units of study.
Subject to the availability of suitable projects and supervisors, candidates with a distinction average in 24 credit points may be admitted to the research pathway. For more information, contact the course coordinator. Full time study can be completed over the course of 2 semesters. Your individual study plan will of course depend on the availability of units in a given semester.
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. Candidates must maintain a credit average result or above, normally over at least the first four units of study, in order to qualify for admission to the research project units of study. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.
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.
An elective research pathway capstone experience in the award comprises ENVI5501 (12 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.
An elective coursework pathway capstone experience in the award comprises MARS5005 (12 credit points), allowing candidates to design and undertake an original project in coastal management or RESP5001 (6 credit points) providing research methodology training.
Course outcomes and further study
Employment opportunities depend largely on your background and the areas in which you have chosen to study, but for the most part you will be best qualified for employment in the area of environmental management and/or policy development, or in private consultancies. This program does not qualify you as a practicing lawyer, but will have the knowledge and capabilities for jobs where the development of policy and management schedules are required.
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 through a Master of Science by research or a PhD. Students completing a research degree can undertake supervised research in specialised area of environmental science and/or law (subject to the availability of a supervisor and suitable project) and submit a written thesis at the completion of their studies.
To search for potential research opportunities, use Research Supervisor Connect: http://sydney.edu.au/research/opportunities/
Admission to the program requires a Bachelor of Science in the discipline of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, ecology, climate and atmospheric sciences, marine science, geology, geography, environmental studies, environmental engineering, agriculture or natural resource management with credit average, or equivalent qualification.
How to apply
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.
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.
Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount
This student contribution amount for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The exact student contribution that you pay will depend on the specific units of study in which you ultimately enrol. If you are a Commonwealth supported student and was enrolled in a University course before 1 January 2013 your student contribution may differ.
Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount
Importantly, student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study (subject to a Commonwealth specified cap), effective at the start of each calendar year.
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
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
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to 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 fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
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.
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 for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.