Course Title: Environmental Management Systems and Tools

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Management Systems and Tools

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019

Course Coordinator: Benjamin Cooke

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 9943

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 8, Level 11

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

The focus of the course will be Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Systems as they encompass the main elements of current approaches to environmental management, and epitomise the issues related to environmental management. The contexts of these tools will be covered, as will their specific elements and applications, to provide a basis for a critical analysis of the political and technical applications of environmental management tools

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The aim of the course is to provide you with understanding and confidence with EMS and EIA applications and limitations. At the conclusion of this course you will:

  • Be able to critically apply the framework of EIA or EMS to situations relevant to you;
  • Have the capacity and confidence to reinterpret your current practices, to operate for improved environmental performance.


The associated learning outcomes are for you to achieve are:

  • An appreciation of the history and contexts for EIA and EMS; 
  • An appreciation of the roles of EIA and EMS in environmental management; 
  • Knowledge of the elements of EIA and EMS and the processes by which they are applied;
  • A critical appreciation of the inherent political significance of their development, and of their application;
  • The capacity to apply the framework of EIA or EMS to situations of your choice; and,
  • The capacity and confidence to reinterpret your current practices to operate for improved environmental performance.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning experiences have been designed to enable you to develop an understanding of the key concepts of environmental management and their relationship to the practical aspects of bringing about change in your personal and professional situations. You will consolidate this knowledge through individual work aimed at establishing the theoretical concepts of environmental management, and relating these to practical situations.

This is a reading-intensive course in which case studies will be used to examine issues associated with the values and processes inherent in environmental management. It is important that each student is well prepared for the discussions associated with the classes.

These interactions are intended to guide you through the theory of policy and provide exposure to examples of a range of environmental management aspects. You will then demonstrate your overall learning through assessments that, rather than being abstract, connect closely to the requirements of many organisations.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be using a prescribed text, complimentary resources provided on myRMIT, and associated web sites and electronic articles.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will includes a media study, a scoping report, a presentation, and a major assessment report.