Course Title: Ecosystems and Human Impact

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Ecosystems and Human Impact

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning


Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Dr Georgia Garrard

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9986

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

Evidence of rapidly changing climates, diminishing surface and groundwater resources, and a catastrophic loss of global biodiversity illustrates the critical need to better manage human impacts on Earth’s ecosystems. This course explores the impact of humans on the environment, linking patterns and trends in natural ecosystems to human systems, their functions, inter-relationships, problems and potential solutions. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will have developed:

  1. An awareness of the interactions between humans and the Earth’s ecosystems;
  2. Basic knowledge of the principles of ecology, environmental problems arising from the working of modern urban-industrial societies, environmental research methods, environmental risk assessment and the broad social, economic and regulatory frameworks in which environmental problems are resolved;
  3. A range of skills related to the application of ecosystem management tools; translating general scientific principles into management recommendations for ecological systems;
  4. An opportunity to apply knowledge in problem-based learning exercises;
  5. Research and critical analysis skills, including the ability to perform database searches, critically read and revise writing, develop lines of argument supported by appropriate references; and
  6. Skills required to participate in and contribute to academic discussions in small groups.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including lectures, workshops, guest presentations, field visits, group discussion, and group and individual research. 

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 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. Urban ecological investigation (30%) (Individual Task Linked to CLO 1, 2 and 5) 

2. Engagement with key concepts (20%) (Individual and/or group tasks. Linked to CLO 3,4 and 6). 

3. Applied field-based task (50%) (Individual Task Linked to CLO 3, 4 and 5) 

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.