Course Title: Environmental Sustainability Project International

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Sustainability Project International

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Barry Meehan

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2119

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Bld 3, Level 2, Room 11

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You must have completed at least 96 credit points (2 semesters) of your postgraduate Science degree.

Course Description

This course is a work integrated learning (WIL) course where you will apply knowledge and skills acquired in previous study to a real project associated with the environment in a country outside Australasia. The course aims to consolidate your knowledge and skills by applying them to the planning and implementation of a research project in country undertaken for a real or hypothetical client as a global intensive experience.

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.

The team based approach used in the course overlays exposure to an international context with, project development, research and communication skills in a manner akin to working as an environment professional.

The project has three main components, including:

  • The selection of students and planning in Melbourne;
  • Data collection in country;
  • Reporting to organisations in country and in Melbourne.

The project is specifically designed to provide a professional experience and designed to develop intercultural and personal awareness by enabling students to work and engage in an international setting, while operating within a professional team to complete a report for a local client

You will keep a journal indicating your activities at the workplace and reflect on how this experience relates to your coursework experience. You will work safely, ethically and in a manner in keeping of your profession.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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

  1. Prepare key professional documents in a style typical of the environmental consultancy industry, including developing a research proposal or work project plan
  2. Prepare a risk assessment of your workplace tasks, including assessing the issues related to the design and implementation of the project
  3. Consolidate this information into a proposal to undertake a project
  4. Prepare a reconnaissance style report based on sources available in Australia
  5. Apply your skills in a workplace, displaying technical skills suitable to your chosen discipline
  6. Recognise professionalism in your workplace with respect to safety, ethics, teamwork and communication and adapt your own behaviour to demonstrate professionalism, including reflecting on how scientific principles are applied in a workplace.
  7. Communicate the outcomes of your work experience in a presentation and written reports

This course is a University elective for most Science Masters by Coursework degrees. It is designed to contribute to the following PLOs at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 8 and above:

  • Understanding science. Demonstrating a coherent understanding of environmental science (aligned with PLOs 1.1, 1.2)
  • Scientific knowledge. Exhibiting depth and breadth of environmental science knowledge (aligned with PLO 2.1)
  • Inquiry and problem solving. Critically analysing and solving problems in environmental science (aligned with PLOs 2.2, 2.3)
  • Being an effective communicator of environmental sciences (aligned with PLOs 2.4, 2.5)
  • Personal and professional responsibility. Being accountable for individual learning and scientific work in environmental science (aligned with PLOs 3.1, 3.2, 3.3)

Overview of Learning Activities

  1. Professional practice: through participation in a selection process via submission of a written expression of interest, being short-listed, interviewed, and, if successful, placed into student teams containing final-year undergraduate students CLOs1,3
  2. Professional practice: Regular planning workshops in Melbourne on teamwork, travel, health, in-country logistics and project planning and management CLOs 1,2
  3. Communication: Preparation of a research proposal for a selected topic CLOs 2,3
  4. Communication: Preparation of a scoping (reconnaissance) report on the selected topic CLO 4
  5. Communication: Presentation of preliminary findings to a workshop in country attended by local academics, students from local universities, government and industry representatives CLO 7
  6. An intensive two-week data collection phase in country to gather local information on the topic CLOs 1,2,3,5,7
  7. Preparation of a summary report focussing on an aspect of the research topic based on the in-country data gathering CLO 7
  8. Preparation of a professional reflection report on your individual performance, including a peer assessment review of your team performance. CLO 1

Total study hours


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

Study time will include 4 hours per week for the semester comprising regular workshops and document preparation in Melbourne and in country. You are also expected to spend approximately 4 hours per week on private research, assignment preparation and reporting. You will also spend time travelling to and from Australia, plus an intensive two week data collection phase in country.

Overview of Learning Resources

This is a ‘learning-by-doing’ course. As such, there is no set text book or required reading, however information and skills gained in previous courses will be called upon. A range of information and resources will be available on myRMIT. 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 in-country data sourced at workshops and site visits.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course consists of:

Two reports and a research proposal which will test your ability to: 

  • Gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from a range of sources which contribute to resources information in country;
  • Be an independent and self-directed learner
  • Work effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.


An individual Professional Reflection report, which will assess your ability to: 

  • Reflect and analyse professional aspects of the project both in Melbourne and in country
  • Reflect on your own performance as a professional with respect to teamwork, safety, ethical behaviour and responsibility
  • A workshop presentation, which will test your ability to: 
  • Demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of specific environmental matters in country
  • Demonstrate the inter-disciplinary nature of the environment profession;
  • Gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from a selected location;
  • Deliver a professional presentation to an international audience


Assessment tasks

Assessment Task 1 (group): preparation of a research proposal (20%) CLOs 2,3

Assessment Task 2 (group): preparation of a scoping report (30%) CLOs 1,2,3,4,5

Assessment Task 3 (group): preparation and delivery of a professional presentation (10%) CLOs 1,3,6

Assessment Task 4 (group): preparation off a summary report (30%) CLO 1,3,7

Assessment 5 (individual): preparation of a professional reflective report (10%) CLO 1