Course Title: Environmental Systems Analysis

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Systems Analysis

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2016,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023,
Sem 2 2024

Course Coordinator: Dr Melissa Neave

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2512

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.11.33

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces key theories and concepts that will help you to interpret and engage with current issues and debates around the management of natural resources. To achieve this you will initially explore how certain social constructs, such as property rights, affect how our resources are managed. This is followed by an exploration of basic ecological and physical principles that are critical to understanding current natural resource issues—both within Australia and around the world. This social and ecological/physical knowledge is then applied to an exploration of how different natural resources are managed and how natural systems can be analysed and assessed to inform environmental decision-making. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

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 practice of natural resource policy, 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. 
  • Work effectively and productively with others in a range of roles in a variety of professional and social contexts. 
  • Communicate effectively using appropriate formats, media and styles to a range of audiences including other professionals, the public and government agencies and collaborate partnerships with others. 
  • Assist in the identification of needs, and the design, planning, resourcing and implementation of research and development projects in environmental and social sustainability. 

Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  1. interpret and engage with current debates around sustainable natural resource management; 
  2. define the major formative processes behind natural resource  and environmental issues within Australia and internationally; 
  3. discuss the integrated nature of human activities, environmental values, ecological processes and sustainable resource management; 
  4. critically reflect on the diverse and sometimes competing perspectives of different resource users; 
  5. assess natural systems and values through analytical techniques and decision-support systems. 

Overview of Learning Activities

Key concepts in this course will be developed through lectures and tutorials/online discussions/practicals, all of which will be supported by online learning tools. The lectures will build your knowledge in the area of natural resource management while the tutorials/online discussions will enable you to participate in interactive discussions about these topics. The tutorials/online discussions are supported by readings that you are expected to critically engage with. In addition to the readings, you are encouraged to draw upon your own experiences within the topics under consideration. The practical sessions will provide additional experience in the manipulation and interpretation of environmental data using a GIS (Geographical Information System).  

Overview of Learning Resources

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

You will be expected to utilise library and electronic resources (as well as any other appropriate resources) to engage in the reading of academic literature. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Recommended learning resources for each topic will mostly include journal articles and web resources but you will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning, including in supporting data interpretation tasks through the use of appropriate software which will be made available to you.  

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 Tasks:  

1. Investigating environmental systems (Essay) (30%) (Linked to CLO 2, 3 and 4) 
2. Analysing and interpreting spatial data (Written report) (40%) (Linked to CLO 1, 2, 3 and 5)  
3. Interrogating natural resource issues (Presentation and written summary) (30%) (Linked to CLO 1, 3 and 4)  

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

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