Current Deakin Students
To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook
With globalisation, population growth and climate change affecting economies around the world, issues of ‘sustainability’ become increasingly critical. Throughout the Master of Sustainability, students will acquire advanced knowledge and contemporary skills in the multidisciplinary approaches to examining environmental impacts, why they occur and to developing appropriate solutions to managing these impacts. Explore how we can learn to meet the needs of the present without permanently negatively impacting our future.
Development of successful sustainability strategies involves a multi-disciplinary approach to both analysis of the risks to the environment while utilising a “triple bottom line” approach to solutions. That is managing the environmental, social and economic issues. This course has been structured to increase the breadth and depth of knowledge and application of skills necessary to develop and implement sustainability strategies for a range of sectors.
The flexible nature of the degree provides students with the opportunity to specialise in either Environmental Management or Sustainable Regional Development, whilst pursuing industry-linked research projects that align to their personal interests and careers aspirations.
Industry connectedness is an integral part of this course and ensures students have opportunities to gain an industry perspective and establish professional networks prior to graduation. Guest lectures from key industry partners are embedded into the degree to provide students with an understanding of research and commercialisation in the sustainability context.
Following successful completion of the course, graduates may choose to pursue further research through a PhD, or seek employment in industry or government roles. Alternatively, students may choose to exit early with a Graduate Certificate of Research Management or Graduate Diploma of Sustainability.
Units in the course may include assessment hurdle requirements.Read More
To complete the Master of Sustainability, students must attain 16 credit points. Most units (think of units as ‘subjects’) are equal to 1 credit point. So that means in order to gain 16 credit points, you’ll need to study 16 units (AKA ‘subjects’) over your entire degree. Most students choose to study 4 units per trimester, and usually undertake two trimesters each year.
The course comprises a total of 16 credit points, which must include the following:
Year 1 (8 credit points):
- Completion of STP050 Academic Integrity (0-credit point compulsory unit)
- 2 core units (2 credit points)
- 1 specialisation (advanced disciplinary study area) (4 credit points)
- 2 elective units (2 credit points)
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.
Plus 4 credit points from a specialisation (Advanced Disciplinary studies)
Plus two level 7 elective unit
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)
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.
Refer to the details of each specialisation for availability.
2020 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 2 - July
- Start date: July
- Available at:
- Burwood (Melbourne)
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Burwood (Melbourne)
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.
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
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.
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
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
The tuition fees you pay are calculated depending on the course you choose.
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 you have.
Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.
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.
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 15% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees. Your Immediate Family Members may also be eligible to apply for this bursary.
How to apply
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. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.
Graduates will be uniquely positioned to commence a PhD.
Frequently asked questions
What are the key study start dates?
Browse all start and finish dates for Deakin’s main study periods. You’ll also find dates relating to applications and prospective student events, plus a list of all public holidays and study breaks.
How much does it cost to study at Deakin?
Your tuition fees will depend on the type of student you are, the course you study and the year you start. Fees are based on an annual amount; they don't cover the entire duration of the course.
Use our fee estimator to gauge what your fees could be per year.
Can I speak to someone in person about my study options?
Yes! We regularly host a range of events including 1:1 consultations and information sessions, to assist you with your study options and career planning. Check out our upcoming events or contact our Prospective Student Enquiry Centre on 1800 693 888 for more information.
Am I eligible for a scholarship with this course?
Scholarships are available for domestic and international students at all study levels. Find a scholarship that works for you.
Can I claim recognition of prior learning (RPL) for this course?
In some courses, you can reduce your overall study time and tuition cost by getting your work and previous study experience recognised as recognition of prior learning (RPL).
Why choose Deakin
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