Environmental Studies


The major in environmental studies examines the interactions between the natural and built environment. It encapsulates the fundamental social aspects of sustainability, environmental impact, law, ethics, development, energy use, economics and politics.

For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

Major outline

In planning for an environmental studies major, it is essential that you enrol in GEOS 1001/GEOS1901 (‘Earth, Environment and Society’) and at least one of the following units of study:
GEOS1002/1902, GEOS1003/1903, BIOL1001/1911/1991, BIOL1002/1902.

The core intermediate unit in environmental studies is GEOS2121/GEOS2921 (‘Environmental and Resource Management’). All students wishing to complete the major must enrol in this unit. Your second year units will form the prerequisites for your third year units, so it is a good idea to plan ahead and have an idea of which senior units you plan on taking, in order to take the relevant prerequisites in your second year. You should consider the following units of study: BIOL2009/2909, BIOL2010/2910, BIOL2022/2922, BIOL2024/2924, GEOS2111/2911, GEOS2115/2915, GEOG2321, GOVT2228, LWSC2002, RESC2031.

To successfully complete your environmental studies major, you must take at least 24 credit points from the following units of study: ENVI3111/ENVI3911, ENVI3112/ENVI3912, ENVI3114, BIOL3007/BIOL3907, GEOS3014/GEOS3914, GEOS3520/GEOS3920, RSEC4231. This must include at least 12 credit points of ENVI-coded units.

ENVI3114: Energy and the Environment
GEOS3520: Urban Citizenship & Sustainability
BIOL3007: Ecology
GEOS1001: Earth, Environment and Society
ENVI3111: Environmental Law and Ethics
ENVI3112: Environmental Assessment
GEOS3014: GIS in Coastal Management
BIOL2024: Ecology and Conservation
GEOS2121: Environmental and Resource Management

Graduate opportunities

With a major in environmental studies, you can pursue careers in government funded organisations, in local government, or in the multitude of private environmental consultancies seeking graduates with science-based skills and specialist knowledge in environmental issues.

Employment opportunities also exist with conservation and environmental groups. There are increasing career opportunities in consultancy work for large government and industrial organisations, smaller community-based organisations involved in preparing environmental impact statements, monitoring and rehabilitation.

Further study for major

If you are interested in furthering your specialisation in environmental studies, you may wish to undertake an honours year in either biology or geography, a postgraduate coursework program such as the Master of Science in Environmental Science or the Master of Environmental Science & Law, or a postgraduate research program (Masters or PhD) in a related discipline such as biology or geography.

Related subject areas

Geology and Geophysics
Marine Science

Our courses that offer this major