SLE756 - Sustainability in the Anthropocene


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes: Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Credit point(s): 1
EFTSL value: 0.125


Corequisite: Nil
Incompatible with: Nil
Study commitment

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Scheduled learning activities - campus

1 x 1 hour lecture per week, 1 x 2 hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - online

Online independent and collaborative learning including 1 x 1 hour online lecture per week, 1 x 2 hour online seminar per week


The 'Anthropocene' is the period marked by the domination of the Earth system by humans. The prospective expansion of the human population to more than 10 billion people by the end of the 21st century along with the increasing consumption of food, energy, land, water, and materials is already exceeding multiple environmental limits. In many parts of the world, aspects of the social foundations such as levels of education, equity, nutrition, poverty, and health are also below where we would want them to be thereby exceeding the Earth's safe and just operating space. The United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals specify targets for 17 broad areas of social, economic, and environmental development. In this unit we examine aspects of the human impact on the environment and look at the major ways of managing this impact through policy and planning for sustainability. Topics include this: climate change mitigation and adaptation; food systems and diet change; land-use change and deforestation; rapid urbanisation; liveable urban environments; material and resource consumption and trade; water resources management; planetary health; renewable energy and energy efficiency; regenerative agriculture and land degradation mitigation; biodiversity conservation; and recycling in the circular economy. We will cover the major policy responses to managing sustainability across these different dimensions ranging from global initiatives such as the UN's sustainable development goals and the Paris Agreement, to national, state, and local policies.

Unit Fee Information

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