Environmental studies examines human interactions with the natural and built environment. It encapsulates the fundamental social aspects of sustainability, environmental impact, law, ethics, development, energy use, economics and politics. In order to adequately cover the material, the units are taught by various staff from within science, architecture, design and planning and law.
The majority of graduates pursue careers in government funded organisations, in local government, or in the multitude of private environmental consultancies. 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.
What will you study?
You will be introduced to the applied science techniques used by environmental scientists and examine the role of conservation biology and applied ecology in environmental science. Focusing on the assessment of impacts and the restoration of natural systems, you will consider the range of ecological issues environmental scientists must address. You will investigate the physical and chemical characteristics of our atmosphere, the natural and anthropogenic processes that occur within it and how these contribute to the climate we live in.
In third year, you will study social and management issues, including Australian laws pertaining to environmental matters. You will investigate a number of environmental issues at the various levels of analysis, policy making, implementation, enforcement and dispute resolution. You can study natural resource and environmental economics, and the tools and methods used in their
practice. You can study the theory and practice of environmental impact statement (EIS) and environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes.
A year-by-year study plan for this major is available here.
Honours and further study
Students who qualify at the end of their undergraduate degree can apply to complete honours in environmental studies.
Postgraduate research and coursework programs are also available to suitably qualified students, and currently there are 40 postgraduate environmental science students involved in these various programs.
A majority of graduates pursue careers in government funded organisations (such as National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sydney Water, CSIRO, EPA), in local government, or in the multitude of private consultancies that now exist. Employment opportunities also exist in land management and soil conservation, other conservation and environmental planning groups, environmental education and ecotourism.
There are increasing career opportunities in consultancy work for large government and industrial organisations, smaller community-based organisations and private consultancy firms involved in preparing environmental impact statements, monitoring and rehabilitation.