Master of Sustainability

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

Overview
By tackling key global issues, your studies in sustainability will equip you to further your career in diverse areas from environmental science to finance, from law to urban planning, and from sustainable building design to public health. You’ll learn about energy conservation, population health, food security, sustainability policy, and sustainability analysis tools.

Enhance your existing qualifications with an understanding of complex sustainability challenges and discover tools to measure, report on and identify solutions to these challenges.

The sustainability program offers flexibility, so you can tailor your selection of units to your background and career interests. At the master’s level you’ll have the freedom to choose a capstone research project that interests you and takes your career in the direction you want.

Change your approach to your current work or make changes to your career based on your new understanding of sustainability.

Sydney advantage
Secure a foundation in sustainability that covers multiple disciplines, with core units addressing the breadth of sustainability, including health and population, energy and resources, food and water security, policy and governance, social change, and sustainability analysis tools.

Broaden your study of sustainability by choosing your electives across a range of areas or focus on one aspect by choosing related electives and designing your Masters course capstone project in that area.
Learn from the University’s experts, who are leaders in their fields internationally, and also from industry professionals, who partner with the program as guest speakers and mentors to provide insight into a range of workplaces.

Program expectations
The aim of the program is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to work in the multidisciplinary field of sustainability. You will gain both a theoretical understanding and applied skills to connect sustainability processes to specific areas of business, development, health and policy, among others. This will allow you to progress in your career, to refresh your skills or to undertake a career change.

The Master of Sustainability builds upon the Graduate Diploma with a capstone experience in which students work in teams to research current sustainability problems in collaboration with industry (including their own employment if appropriate), aiming to deliver sustainable solutions to the industry partners.

Course outline

View a sample study plan/course structure table.

Study plan


You may undertake the course on a full time or part time basis. Full time study is normally undertaken over three semesters.

To qualify for the Master of Sustainability a candidate must complete 72 credit points, including:

¿ 36 credit points of core units of study; and
¿ 12 credit points of elective units of study from the remaining core or elective units of study; and
¿ 24 credit points of Capstone experience units of study

A sample study plan for a full time student might involve four units of study in the first semester, comprising: three core units plus one elective unit; then three more core units plus one elective in second semester; and four capstone experience units of study in the third semester. Your individual study plan will of course depend on the availability of units in a given semester. Example study plans themed by discipline area are available for guidance.

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. 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.

The capstone experience is the compulsory activity which completes the Master of Sustainability degree. In the capstone experience, it is intended that students propose a research enquiry (possibly based on their employment). Ideally students work in teams of 2-4 members (although this may depend on any constraints imposed by relevant participating organisations). In some cases, students will work individually on a project.

The capstone experience in the award comprises time and effort consistent with the number of credit points:

• SUST5007 (24 credit points) for one large project, or
• SUST5008 (12 credit points) and SUST5009 (12 credit points) for two smaller projects.

Candidates research current sustainability problems in collaboration with industry (including the candidate's current employer, if applicable), aiming to deliver sustainable solutions to industry partners.

The project should cover at least 2 of the degree theme areas (Energy, Health, Development, Environment) and be approved by the Capstone Coordinator. The Capstone Coordinator will appoint a relevant academic mentor for each group from among the University’s sustainability researchers. In keeping with the generalist nature of the program, students may undertake projects unrelated to their background. The University will not seek, nor provide any financial support for students involved in the capstone experience.

The project is worth 24 credit points and will involve an amount of time and effort consistent with that commitment.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

Upon completion of the course, graduates will be equipped to engage in developing and implementing solutions to the complex question of how to deliver acceptable life styles for all without compromising the fate of future generations. The capstone project provides students with experience working on a real sustainability issue, and the generalist nature of the progam allows graduates to plan their study to align with their professional aspirations and career goals.

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master of Sustainability requires:

(a) a degree of Bachelor with a credit average from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification; or
(b) completion of the requirements of the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification.

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. You may wish to find out more about how to apply by reading the information about applying for a postgraduate coursework program (domestic students) on the Faculty of Science website. Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty of Science.

Commencing semesters and application closing dates are shown in the Essentials pane on the right hand side of this page.

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. You may wish to find out more about how to apply by reading the information about applying for a postgraduate coursework program (international students) on the Faculty of Science website. Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty of Science.

Commencing semesters and application closing dates are shown in the Essentials pane on the right hand side of this page.

Fee disclaimer

Domestic students

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 students

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.

Annual review

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.