Course Title: Contemporary Environmental Issues

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary Environmental Issues

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Melissa Neave

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2512

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

This course examines interactions that occur between people and their environments. You will assess how physical and human processes combine to affect environmental change, and adopt a focus-topic approach to examine several critical environmental management concepts. You will investigate current examples of global environmental change to analyse how biophysical systems operate and how they are impacted upon by human activities. The collective investigation of global and regional examples will provide you with an integrated framework for advancing your understanding of broader environmental concepts, including sustainability, sustainable development, resilience and biodiversity.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  • Debate selected environmental management issues in a professional manner using appropriate scientific arguments and relevant data
  • Define selected physical environmental processes in terms of their major formative agents.
  • Examine the environmental challenges evident in selected physical processes and systems.
  • Discuss the integrated nature of physical and biological systems in the context of environmental change.
  • Critically reflect on the consequences of human impacts on biophysical systems and vice versa.

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 management and associated policies and programs

Overview of Learning Activities

The course consists of weekly lectures and practical classes/workshops. The lectures are designed to support you to build knowledge on current environmental debates and will run throughout the semester. Some lectures will be supported by practical classes that will introduce data analysis concepts and skills that are relevant to those working in the field of environmental management. In the early part of the semester, the practical classes will be replaced by workshops, designed to introduce students to professional and academic writing and presentation. Within these interactive sessions you will be required to analyse and critically interpret both data and scholarly works, and you will be expected to participate in peer reviews of your draft assessment work.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will be provided with online readings and will have access to a course online learning site.

Overview of Assessment

  • You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include case study analysis and report writing.
  • Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.
  • 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.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:;ID=qwxbqbg739rl1