Course Title: Professional Environmental Scientist

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Professional Environmental Scientist

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Graeme Allinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3561

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.23

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Professional Environmental Scientist has been designed to match industry expectations of a person working at a management level in the environmental sector. It will cover high level communication skills, environmental risk and preparing project proposals.

The coursework consists of a series of workshops conducted by industry representatives on key workplace themes including two workshops at regional and urban locations. The course also includes a team based reconnaissance study on selected topic areas designed to replicate working in an environmental consultancy and mentored by industry representatives. This latter activity will take you through the steps involved in writing a project proposal including an introduction to resourcing issues, undertaking a desktop investigation and presenting the outcomes of your investigation to a client.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of teh following Program Learning Outcomes at AQF level 9

  • PLO 1.1 a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in enviornmental science and the technological advances related to measurement techniques, remediation processes and pollution control
  • PLO 1.3 knowledge of the regulatory frameworks and ethical principles relevant to enironmental science and development of associated technologies.
  • PLO 2.1 cognitive skills which demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge about environmental processes enabling critical reflection on environmenal theory and professional practice or scholarship
  • PLO 2.4 communication and technical research skills to enable you to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, methodologies, conclusions and professional decisions to specialist and non specialist audiences
  • PLO 2.5 technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to environmental professional practice or scholarship
  • PLO 3.1 creativity and initiative to new situations in your role as an enviornmental professional practitioner and/or in your further studies
  • PLO 3.2 high level personal autonomy and accountability
  • PLO 3.3 due regard to ethical conduct, the law and the safety of yourself and others around you.


On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

CLO 1:  Identify and understand the roles played by environment professionals in a range of contexts (PLO 1,2)

CLO 2:  Demonstrate knowledge of regulatory requirements for the protection of the environment in the development of a project proposal (PLO 2)

CLO 3:  Prepare professional documents in selected industry contexts (PLO 1,3,4)

CLO 4:  Establish a project proposal for a selected industry context (PLO 1,2,3,4,5,7)

CLO 5:  Assess the issues related to the design and implementation of the proposal including background, methods, budget, logistics, ethics, and safety, and consolidate this information into your project proposal (PLO 2,3,4,5, 6, 7)

CLO 6:  Effectively defend your project proposal by means of an oral presentation (PLO 3,4,5)

CLO 7:  Work effectively, responsibly, ethically and safely in an individual or team context (PLO 7)

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities will consist of

1. A series of workshops that include industry focussed topics including:

  • An overview of the roles of professional scientists and engineers in the environment industry (CLO 1)
  • Environmental governance and policy in Australia (CLO 2)
  • Focus sessions that will describe the roles and responsibilities of professionals in e.g. the waste management sector, wastewater treatment facilities, land and water resources management, land contamination and remediation, environment monitoring regulation and reporting, international consultancies, local and state government (CLOs 1,2)

2. Excursions to both an urban and a regional location to observe environment professionals in the field (CLOs 1,2)

3. Establishment of your work team including agreed roles and expectations (CLO 3)

4. Preparation of a project proposal for an identified client (CLOs 3,4,5,6)

5. Preparation of a professional presentation to client (CLOs 3, 4, 5, 6)

6.Preparation of a professional reflection on your project work experience.

Total Study Hours

This activity is expected to consist of at least 120 hours over one semester.

You will spend an average of 5 hours per week for the semester attending the regular workshops, and excursions. You are also expected to spend approximately 5 hours per week on private research, document preparation, assignment preparation and reporting.

Overview of Learning Resources

A range of information and resources will be available on myRMIT (Canvas). You will also need to seek out information e.g. texts, journals and resources relevant to your topic through the RMIT library and other sources as well as data sourced at workshops and site visits.

Overview of Assessment

☑This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Task 1:  (completion of selected simulated work experiences:

Completion of five online work, health and safety compliance courses,

Weighting 25% (5 x 5%)

This assessment task supports CLO 1

Assessment Task 2: (preparation of five seminar reports)

Weighting 20% (5 x 4%)

This assessment supports CLO 3,5, 6

Assessment Task 3:  (preparation of the project proposal)

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1,3,4,5,6

Assessment Task 4: (preparation of the project report)

Weighting 25% (includes peer review)(10%+5%+10%)

This assessment task supports CLO 1,3,4,5,6

Assessment Task 5 (preparation and delivery of a professional resume)

Weighting 10%

This assessment supports CLO 5

Assessment Task 6 (preparation of a professional reflective report)

Weighting 10%  

This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3,4,5,6


All assessment tasks (except oral report) are submitted through a Turnitin folder and/or Canvas; feedback is provided through that portal including task scores