Introduction to Sustainability (SUST5001)


This unit of study will introduce students to the concepts and multidisciplinary nature of sustainability, starting with the physical basis of climate change and its impact on the environment and human development. This will be followed by several case studies covering Energy, Health, Development and Environment. The case studies will be presented by industry professionals and will illustrate sustainability issues currently before Australia- their origins, impacts and industry responses. The unit of study will provide students with a holistic systems lens through which to view their learning throughout the Masters program. This will underpin understanding of the integrated nature of sustainability and facilitate the challenging of silo-based assumptions- their own and those of others. The intention is to ground understanding of complex systems in the real world through the use of case studies that will demonstrate organisational change and problem solving in a world with competing values and conflicting views of what it means to live sustainably. Students completing the unit of study will have a "sustainability tool kit" to apply to sustainability issues in their professional and community activities.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


One 2 to 2.5 hour interactive lecture per week presented in an intensive format with up to four hours per week spent on a combination of additional (e.g. on-line) learning tasks, small group sessions and consultation with lecturers.


Essays, oral presentations, short written assignments (100%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

This unit of study involves essay-writing. Academic writing skills equivalent to HSC Advanced English or significant consultation via the Writing Hub is assumed.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.