Course Title: Environmental Management Systems and Tools

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Management Systems and Tools

Credit Points: 12.00


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,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Ascelin Gordon

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9930

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

In this course you will focus on 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. You will learn about the contexts for these tools, as well as their specific elements and applications, as a basis for critically analysing the political and technical applications of environmental management tools. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

The aim of the course is to provide you with understanding and confidence in Environmental Management System (EMS) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) applications and limitations. At the conclusion of this course you will be able to: 

  1. Critically apply the framework of EIA or EMS to situations relevant to you, using practical insights into the history context and political significance of these environmental management tools; 
  2. Apply knowledge of the role of the EIA and EMS, key elements and related processes Have the capacity and confidence to reinterpret your current practices, to and operate for improved environmental performance.

Course Learning Outcomes 

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes: 

  1. Develop and use appropriate research tools, methods and strategies to generate knowledge, manage urban environments, and inform decision-making in diverse social, cultural and geographic contexts. 
  2. Apply the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to implement locally inspired solutions to a range of environmental and other consequences of urbanisation. 
  3. Continually extend and challenge your knowledge and professional practice in urban and environmental management. 

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 you are 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 of many organisations. 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.  

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.  

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on the above learning outcomes. You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.  

Assessment Tasks:

  1. Reflection on Environmental Assessment Task (30%) (Linked to CLO 1, 2, 3 and 4) 
  2. Critical Appraisal of Environmental Assessment Case Study Task (40%) (Linked to CLO 2, 3, 5 and 6) 
  3. Environment Audit Assessment Task (30%) (Linked to CLO 3, 5 and 6)

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 course coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.