Master of Sustainability

Postgraduate coursework

Develop advanced knowledge in environmental management or sustainable regional development for a career addressing important sustainability issues.

Key facts

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6 (or equivalent). More information is available at www.ielts.org

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

As a graduate of this course you will be equipped with the skills to build a rewarding career affecting positive change. You will be well positioned to engage in the development and implementation of practical solutions to the complex sustainability challenges and may choose to seek employment in government roles, non-government organisations or in the private sector.

Depending on your elected area of expertise, you may choose to pursue employment as an officer, manager or consultant in areas including environmental protection, cultural and natural heritage management, environmental conservation, land and water management, natural resource management, agriculture, communication and planning.

Those choosing to undertake the advanced research study option in the final year of this degree will also be well positioned to pursue further research studies, including a master by research or PhD.

Want the skills to develop and implement sustainability strategies across a range of sectors?

Globalisation, population growth and climate change are dramatically impacting the natural environments, economies, and societies of the world. 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.

The flexible structure of the course provides you with the opportunity to build the degree for the career you want. You’ll first acquire a solid foundation in sustainability before broadening your studies through pursuit of a specialisation that interests you most. Towards the latter part of your studies, you will have the option to either undertake a focused research project, industry practice or further broaden your skills through your choice of elective units spanning climate change adaptation and mitigation, regional development, environmental management, risk assessment and control, health promotion, community consultation and more.

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.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Sustainability
Year

2023 course information

Deakin code
S727
CRICOS code?
108875G Burwood (Melbourne)
Level
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Course structure

To complete the Master of Sustainability, students must attain 12 credit points, which must include the following:

Year 1 (8 credit points):

  • Completion of STP050 Academic Integrity (0-credit point compulsory unit)
  • 4 core units (4 credit points)
  • 1 specialisation (4 credit points)

Year 2 (4 credit points):

  • Advanced discipline coursework pathway - 4 credit points of Course elective units (see list below), or
  • Industry practice pathway - SLE766 Industry Practice (4 credit points) (subject to meeting unit requirements)

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements. Click here for more information.

Core

Year 1

  • Academic Integrity (0 credit points)
  • Career Tools for Employability (0 credit points)
  • Professional Research Practice
  • Sustainability in the Anthropocene
  • Environmental Science and Global Change
  • Plus 4 credit points from a specialisation

    Plus one unit from:

  • Research Project Planning
  • Industry Practice Planning ^
  • Year 2

    Advanced Discipline Coursework Pathway

    4 course elective units from the list below

    OR

    Industry Practice Pathway

  • Industry Practice (4 credit points)^
  • ^ Students undertaking this unit must have successfully completed STP710 Career Tools for Employability (0 credit point)

    Course elective units

    S728 Master of Sustainability (Professional) and S727 Master of Sustainability students can choose any units from the list below to fill the course elective unit options (subject to meeting unit requirements).

    Course elective units may also be chosen from the remaining specialisations (ie students enrolled in the Environmental Management specialisation may choose electives from within the Health and Environment specialisation).

    Strategic futures thinking

  • Critical Futures
  • Food and land system

  • Food Security
  • Healthy and Sustainable Agricultural Communities
  • Policy and Practice for Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems
  • International development

  • Sustainability and Development
  • Introduction to International and Community Development
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Humanitarian Contexts
  • Cultural heritage

  • World Heritage
  • Sustainability and Human Rights in Heritage and Museums
  • Heritage Practice: Conservation and Managing Change
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Cities

  • Building Systems and Environment
  • Urban Stormwater Asset Design
  • Engineering Sustainability
  • Data science for sustainability

  • Foundation Skills in Data Analysis
  • Agile Project Management
  • Statistical Data Analysis
  • Modern Data Science
  • Environmental crime

  • Environmental Crime and Regulation
  • Environmental Offenders and Victims
  • Working with communities

  • Community Consultation and Participation
  • Participatory and Community Development Practice
  • Introduction to International and Community Development
  • Global geopolitics and sustainability

  • China and the World
  • The United Nations and International Organisation
  • International Conflict Analysis
  • Transnational Activism and Policy
  • Human Rights in World Politics
  • Policy and governance

  • Making Policy
  • Policy Lessons From Overseas
  • Intergovernmental Relations
  • Governance and Accountability
  • The Politics of Australia's Economy
  • Private Sector Development: Corporations, Social-Enterprise and Microfinance
  • Humanitarian development

  • The Humanitarian World
  • Humanitarian - Development Nexus
  • Gender and Development
  • Communicating and influencing

  • Public Relations, Activism and Social Change
  • Public Affairs and Opinion Formation
  • Cross Cultural Communication and Practice
  • Specialisations

    Refer to the details of each specialisation for availability.

    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 campus

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Cloud campus

    Additional course information

    Graduate Diploma of Sustainability (S627)

    Graduate Certificate of Sustainability (S527)

    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.

    Workload

    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.

    Participation requirements

    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.

    Work experience

    Students will have an opportunity to complete an industry practice pathway, equivalent to 4 credit points, in place of a research pathway.

    Entry requirements

    Entry information

    • Bachelor degree in related discipline with a WAM (or equivalent average grade indicator) of 60 OR
    • Graduate Certificate or Honours Degree in a related discipline with a WAM (or equivalent average grade indicator) of 60 OR
    • Bachelor degree in any discipline with a WAM (or equivalent average grade indicator) of 60 AND two years relevant work experience OR
    • Evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent.

    Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories. To be eligible for admission to this program, applicants must meet the course requirements.

    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

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for Recognition of Prior Learning. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your Recognition of Prior Learning.
    Your Recognition of Prior Learning is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    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 tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    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.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    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.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    As a graduate of this course you will be equipped with the skills to build a rewarding career affecting positive change. You will be well positioned to engage in the development and implementation of practical solutions to the complex sustainability challenges and may choose to seek employment in government roles, non-government organisations or in the private sector.

    Depending on your elected area of expertise, you may choose to pursue employment as an officer, manager or consultant in areas including environmental protection, cultural and natural heritage management, environmental conservation, land and water management, natural resource management, agriculture, communication and planning.

    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, health and environment and sustainable regional development.

    Demonstrate well-developed judgement and responsibility to review, analyse and develop sustainability strategies based on holistic principles.

    Communication

    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.

    Digital literacy

    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.

    Critical thinking

    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.

    Problem solving

    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.

    Self-management

    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.

    Teamwork

    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.

    Global citizenship

    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 10 June 2021