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: Professor Matt Duckham

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0966

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.11.03

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Professional Scientist has been designed to match industry expectations of a person working at a management level in science. It will cover high level communication skills, planning, preparing, and presenting project proposals, ethics and professional conduct, and risk management in both a team and individual context. This course will equip you with an understanding of the skills 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 professional scientists in a range of contexts

CLO 2:  Prepare professional documents and presentations in selected industry contexts

CLO 3:  Establish a project proposal for a selected professional industry context

CLO 4:  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

CLO 5:  Work effectively, responsibly, ethically and safely in an individual or team context

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will be actively engaged in a series of lectures from experienced professional scientists, as well as using learning through extensive online content and activities. We encourage you to work collaboratively with fellow students through the use of group projects and to engage in problem-based learning. You are strongly encouraged to actively participate in class discussion where topics can be openly and freely challenged by all participants.

Total Study Hours

36 teacher guided hrs plus approximately 60 hr working in teams and on individual study.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be expected to seek out relevant texts, library resources (Including appropriate journals) and freely accessible internet sites of relevance to your research topic. Resources will be available through the RMIT library and the internet. Lecture materials will be provided on Canvas.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will include:

Early Assessment Task:Background research presentation

Weighting 20%

This assessment contributes to CLO 2 and CLO 4.

Assessment Task 2: Research Scoping Report

Weighting 30%

This assessment contributes to CLO 2 and CLO 3  

Assessment Task 3: Group Research Proposal

Weighting 30%

This assessment contributes to CLO 1 - CLO 5.  

Assessment Task 4: Group Research Poster and Presentation

Weighting 20%

This assessment contributes to CLO 2 and CLO 5.