Course Title: Communicating Sustainability

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Communicating Sustainability

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 1 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Nooshin Torabi

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0909

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 provides an overview of the representation, framing and expression of the environment and nature in various cultural forms and across a range of media within different global contexts. You will examine ways in which worldviews, beliefs and practices manifest in responses to environmental issues, and how communications framing and messaging are deployed to shaping solutions. You will analyse contemporary documents and texts in order to explore the relationship between media communications and sustainability. In light of cultural insights gained from this analysis we will develop media strategies designed to frame and represent environmental concerns and influence target audiences. 

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 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.

Course Learning Outcomes 

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

  1. Describe and interpret the role of communications in shaping public discourse on environment, nature and their politics 
  2. Analyse a policy or representation of the environment in terms of underlying worldviews, beliefs and practices 
  3. Develop and use contemporary media strategies to promote a representation of environment/or nature 
  4. Develop and apply strategies for effective media engagement in the communication of environmental social and political action.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will be delivered in a multi-modal form, initially consisting of lectures and workshops to build knowledge of historical and culturally specific forms of environmental representation. There will also be dedicated workshops for the development of media analysis, with a focus on the communication of sustainability. You will be required to critically analyse primary and secondary materials and develop media communication modules on contemporary environmental issues. 

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. 

These resources may include book chapters, journal articles, media articles, lecture notes, bibliographies for supplementary reading, video, and links to external websites. You will have the opportunity to contribute to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers. 

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.  

Assessment Tasks

1. Examination of Environmental Discourses, Framings and Messaging Task (30%) (Linked to CLO 1 and 2) 

2. Communication of Contemporary Environmental Issues Task (30%) (Linked to CLO 1, 3 and 4) 

3. Developing a Communication Strategy for Environmental Issues Task (40%) (Linked to CLO 2, 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 manager 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.