Progressive, real-world learning. Online.
Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 2 2021 have closed
Current Deakin Students
To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook
Globalisation, population growth and climate change are dramatically impacting the natural environment, economies, and societies around the world. Issues of sustainability are critical to our future and humanity is placing increasing pressure on the environment through growing consumption, resource use, and increased degradation of natural capital such as land, water, air and biodiversity.
The Master of Sustainability prepares you to address the complex and interacting social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability issues and challenges faced globally. Throughout this course, you will develop advanced knowledge and contemporary skills in the multidisciplinary approaches to examining why environmental impacts occur and developing appropriate cost-effective and targeted solutions to managing these impacts.
Want the skills to develop and implement sustainability strategies across a range of sectors?
A key focus of the Master of Sustainability is developing an in depth understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals, which every member country of the United Nations is committed to achieving by 2030.
Explore options for how humanity can meet its growing needs without limiting the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Graduate with the skills to develop successful sustainability strategies by applying multidisciplinary approaches and taking a ‘triple bottom line’ approach to policy and management solutions, balancing environmental, social and economic considerations.
The flexible structure of the course provides you with the opportunity to specialise in either environmental management or sustainable regional development. You will also have the option to study a range of sustainability issues via electives spanning cities, health, indigenous management, data science and more.
The course provides you with the foundations of sustainability science. In second year you can pursue an industry-based placement or a research pathway, involving industry-linked research projects that align to your personal interests and career aspirations.
Connections to industry are an integral part of this course and ensures you have the opportunity to gain an industry perspective and establish professional networks prior to graduation. Guest lectures from key industry partners are embedded into the course to provide you with an understanding of sustainability issues in a real-world context.Read More
To complete the Master of Sustainability, students must attain 16 credit points, which must include the following:
Year 1 (8 credit points):
- Two (2) core units (2 credit points);
- One (1) specialisation (advanced disciplinary study area) (4 credit points);
- Two (2) credit points of elective units;
- Completion of STP050 Academic Integrity (0-credit point compulsory unit).
Year 2 (8 credit points):
- Research pathway or Industry Practice pathway (8 credit points).
Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.
Any level 7 units chosen from existing units offered across many courses. In some cases you may even be able to choose elective units from a completely different discipline area (subject to meeting unit requirements).
Students are encouraged to discuss their elective selections with their course director.
Plus 4 credit points from a specialisation (Advanced Disciplinary studies)
Plus two level 7 elective units (two credit points)
Chosen from the following pathways:
Industry Practice Pathway
plus four credit points of level 7 units
^ Students undertaking this unit must have successfully completed STP710 Career Tools for Employability (0 credit point)
Refer to the details of each specialisation for availability.
2022 course information
This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Burwood (Melbourne)
- Cloud (online)
Trimester 2 - July
- Start date: July
- Available at:
- Burwood (Melbourne)
- Cloud (online)
Additional course information
Graduate Diploma of Sustainability (S621) (Exit option only)
Graduate Certificate of Research Management (S521)
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
Mandatory student checks
Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.
Approximately 150 hours of learning and assessment activities per Deakin credit point.
Students will have access to a range of elective units from a variety of relevant discipline areas across the Faculty and University. This will allow them to tailor a program relevant to their specific interests, subject to academic approval. As a pathway to PhD, the proposed courses have a key component in the form of a research project. The thesis should offer a significant contribution to knowledge in the discipline concerned and demonstrate the student’s capacity to carry out independent research.
Students not wishing to pursue further studies in research will have the opportunity to undertake a 4-credit point industry practice placement during their second year of studies, along with 4 course electives that will allow them to complement their studies with a range of relevant options.
Elective units may be selected that include compulsory placements, work-based training, community-based learning or collaborative research training arrangements.
Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. Click here for more information.
Students will have an opportunity to complete an industry practice pathway, equivalent to 4 credit points, in place of a research pathway.
Ask a question about studying at Deakin
Entry will be based on performance in:
- a Bachelor degree in same discipline with a minimum WAM (Weighted Average Mark) of 60% OR,
- a Graduate Certificate in same discipline, OR
- a Bachelor degree in any discipline PLUS 3 years relevant work experience.
Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.
Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library
Recognition of prior learning
The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.
You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.
The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of Prior Learning.
One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.
You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.
Learn more about fees and available payment options.
What is FEE-HELP?
FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $46,620.
Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2021 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.
Estimate your FEE-HELP
per pay cycle
after FEE-HELP and tax
per pay cycle
Your estimated FEE-HELP repayments
- $* is the estimated full cost for a Master of Sustainability (16 credit points), based on the 2021 fees.
- is the annual FEE-HELP payment, based on your current salary
- of your current salary be spent on FEE-HELP
Deakin University (Deakin):
- gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
- advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
- instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.
This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.
Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.
The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:
- does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
- does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
- assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
- assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
- assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
- where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.
A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.
If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.
How to apply
For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.
Graduates will be uniquely positioned to commence a PhD.
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
School of Life and Environmental Sciences
Prospective student enquiries
Are you looking to apply for this course or would like further information?
Call 1800 693 888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Current student course and enrolment enquiries
Call 03 9244 6699 or email us at email@example.com
Submit an online enquiry
As a graduate of this course, you will be uniquely positioned to commence a PhD or actively pursue research roles in industry, education, government, NGOs, policy developments and teaching. Depending on your chosen area of expertise, you may choose to seek employment as an ecologist, environment consultant, communications specialist, researcher or science journalist. Potential employers include CSIRO, planning and research officers for state/federal government, government planning and environment departments, environmental protection agencies, cultural and natural heritage management, environmental conservation, land and water management, natural resource management, , private research institutes, private commercial companies, industrial research companies, universities, NGOs, schools, agriculture and food sector, local councils and public service.
Course learning outcomes
Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.
Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
Demonstrate mastery and specialist knowledge of natural and social sciences related to sustainability, environmental management and sustainability regional development.
Plan and execute a substantial research or industry based project to demonstrate a deep understanding and mastery within the sustainability, environmental management and sustainable regional development disciplines.
Demonstrate well-developed judgement and responsibility to review, analyse and develop sustainability strategies based on holistic principles.
Present a reasoned argument that highlights essential details of sustainability, environmental management and sustainable regional development, theory and application, key observations, results and conclusions of scientific research in a professional manner using appropriate style, language and references including local, national, and international contributions or contexts.
Apply listening skills and effective communication skills to accommodate, encourage and answer questions from a range of audience and to defend research/project findings and sustainability implementation propositions.
Interpret the boundaries or limits of social and scientific information, data, discuss error, probability, uncertainty, conclusions and arguments to justify theoretical propositions, methodologies, methods, techniques, conclusions and professional decisions.
Use well-developed technical skills, judgement and responsibility to independently locate, analyse, evaluate the merits of, synthesise and disseminate sustainability data, information and literature in the planning and implementation of projects to a range of stakeholders in sustainability, environmental management and sustainable regional development.
Reflect on information, data and results and develop strategies for disseminating research outcomes in a digital world.
Appraise complex social, economic and scientific methodologies and information from a broad range of interdisciplinary sources using critical, analytical and logical reasoning from multiple perspectives for evaluating and providing solutions to sustainability issues that incorporate the holistic principles.
Formulate research questions to test and/ or contest ideas, concepts and theoretical propositions through an evidence-based well-structured project.
Plan and implement sustainability research investigation by using traditional and emerging techniques and technologies to identify problems and by applying analysis and synthesis skills, and triple-bottom line principles to solve research and/or practical problems.
Demonstrate complex problem-solving skills by identifying and creating solutions to real world sustainability through social, economic and/or scientific inquiry.
Contribute to advancements in scientific knowledge through mastery in the use of traditional and emerging instruments and techniques to device an investigation, and in the collection, interpretation, analysis, synthesis and dissemination of issues pertaining to the identification of issues and solutions to improve sustainability in general and/or environmental management and/or sustainable regional development.
Take personal, professional and social responsibility within changing national and international professional contexts to develop autonomy as researchers and evaluate own performances.
Work autonomously, responsibly and safely to solve unstructured problems and actively apply knowledge of social frameworks and scientific methodologies to make informed choices based on the triple-bottom line principles.
Work independently and collaboratively with advice from the supervisor towards achieving the outcomes of a project and thereby demonstrate interpersonal skills including the ability to brainstorm, negotiate, resolve conflicts, managing difficult and awkward conversations, provide constructive feedback and work in diverse professional, social and cultural contexts.
Apply principles of sustainability and environmental management knowledge and skills with a high level of autonomy, judgement, responsibility and accountability in collaboration with the supervisor to articulate the place and importance of social and scientific inquiry in the local and global context.
Approved by Faculty Board 27 June 2019
* 2019 Student Experience Survey, based on undergraduate students
# ARWU Rankings 2019
~ According to the Voice Project IT Service Quality Support Benchmark Survey
^ Australian Graduate Recruitment Industry Awards, 2017, 2018, 2019 winner
^^ Australian Graduate Survey 2010–2015, Graduate Outcomes Survey 2016–2019 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)