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.

Take part in a unique opportunity to study science, environment and law in a single degree. If you’re a science graduate looking to learn about environmental policy, the Master of Environmental Science and Law integrates diverse disciplines into an outstanding program.

This highly regarded postgraduate program is open to science graduates. The one-and-a-half-year degree lets you study complementary subjects across both 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. 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. The program brings together subjects that are normally taught separately and that are difficult to study together outside of this program. As a student, you will benefit from an exceptional combination of resources that are at your disposal. The Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law, based at the University of Sydney, is well known around the world in this field, and the University’s outstanding research quality in the area of environmental science and management was recently rated 5 out of 5 in the latest Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings (2012).

As a graduate of this program you can expect to leave with a practical and theoretical background in aspects of environmental science and environmental law, which open doors to careers in environmental management and policy development.

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 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.

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, intellectual and/or professional growth.

A research capstone experience in the course comprises ENVI5502, ENVI5503 and ENVI5504 (total 18 credit points). Candidates complete a research project on a topic in environmental science and law 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. A distinction average in 24 credit points, usually in the first four units of study, is required to undertake the research capstone experience.

For students not taking the research capstone experience (ENVI5502, ENVI5503 and ENVI5504), an alternative compulsory capstone unit RESP5001 (6 credit points) is required. RESP5001 provides integrated research methodology training.

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

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 is required.

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 through a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or a Doctor of Philosophy (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.

Admission

Admission requirements

For admission to the course, you should have a Bachelor of Science with 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 or natural resource management.
A credit average means a minimum Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 65.
A very limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) may be available to domestic applicants for this course from year to year. All domestic applicants who 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