Course Title: Environmental Economics

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Economics

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 1 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr Brian Coffey

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 3351

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The fate of the environment is inextricably linked to economic conditions. With rare exceptions, nation states emphasise economic growth over environmental considerations such as ecological sustainability, and air and water quality. In Australia, attempts to correct environmental damage via public policy have been met with considerable resistance. This course is designed to give you the skills necessary to articulately engage in this debate. You will learn key economic concepts, including the role economic ideology plays in environmental policy, how economists measure (or fail to measure) economic impacts on the environment, and how pro-environmental public policy might affect economic activities.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

• Understand the historical development of environmental economics and why economics undervalues the environment.
• Recognise the role of economic activity in environmental damage.
• Understand the nature and scope of contemporary environmental debates.
• Understand how economic concepts and ideologies are used to enable or justify environmental damage.
• Understand how economics may hold many of the answers necessary to redress serious environmental damage.
• Be able to engage with economic arguments on environmental issues.
• Recognise the local and global economic response to environmental damage, including from governments, industry, individuals and non-government organisations.

Program Learning Outcomes

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

• Apply a body of theoretical and practical knowledge of principles and practices in natural resource management, sustainability, globalisation and environmental management to professional practice or further study;

• Critically analyse, synthesise and reflect on knowledge related to the social implications of environmental concerns and challenges both in Australia and globally;

• Apply logical, critical and creative thinking to effectively solve a range of problems associated with environmental monitoring and management and associated policies and practices;

• Assist in the identification of needs and the design, planning, resourcing and development of projects in environmental and social sustainability.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will attend a 1.5 hour lecture and 1.5 hour tutorial each week. Tutorials are based on a set of course readings. Tutorials are student-led and designed to encourage deeper engagement with the concepts covered in lectures, to practice presentation skills and critical engagement with economic and environmental issues.


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Student resources including weekly readings, lecture notes, assessment criteria, and an electronic copy of the course guide will be available on-line throughout the semester.

Overview of Assessment


You will be assessed on how well you meet the course and program learning outcomes.

Assessment may include short discussion papers, presentations, and an essay at the end of semester.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: