Master of Science (Environmental Science)

Course MC-SCIENV (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Year and Campus: 2010 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Michael McCarthy


Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne

Tel: + 61 3 8344 6404
Fax: +61 3 8344 5803
Course Overview: The Master of Science (Environmental Science) applies scientific principles to understanding and managing the natural and built environment. Students learn about global changes that are occurring in the environment, the science that underpins those changes, how continuing and novel changes can be detected, and how these changes can be managed. Students will also acquire the analytical techniques employed in environmental science.
Objectives: Course objectives include:
  • an appreciation for the role of modelling in environmental science;
  • an overview of the range of environmental models in use;
  • the skills required to model environmental systems and processes;
  • an introduction to the construction and mathematical analysis of environmental models;
  • a high level of ability to analyse and evaluate environmental models;
  • describe major current global environmental challenges facing scientists and policy-makers;
  • discuss the relevance of a range of scientific disciplines to environmental management including meteorology, ecology, toxicology, hydrology, geology and epidemiology;
  • analyse the role of various evidentiary approaches to supporting science-based arguments including empirical observation and analysis, modelling and use of expert opinion; and
  • judge the merit of scientific arguments made in documents related to environmental policy.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: This professional entry program offers students the opportunity to undertake core science studies as well as professional tools modules, which provide high-level training in areas of business, communications and science applications.

Topics covered in this program include:

  • Restoration and remediation
  • Environmental modelling
  • Environmental assessment and management
  • Measuring the physical, chemical and biological properties of land, sea and sky
  • Environmental sampling
  • Global environmental change

Course structure (all subjects are 12.5 points each, total points: 200)

Discipline Core (62.5 points)

Students must take:

  • 600-654 Global Environmental Change,
  • 600-604 Environmental Risk Assessment or 950-603 (offered in Intensive Mode)*,
  • 600-653 Environmental Monitoring and Audit,
  • 606-661 Environmental Modelling, and
  • 606-666 Graduate Seminar: Environmental Science.

Discipline Elective (37.5 points)

Students must take 3 of the following subjects:

  • 625-634 Climate Affairs
  • 615-505 e-Science **
  • 600-617 Systems Modelling and Simulation
  • 606-608 Restoration Ecology (not available in 2010)
  • 121-532 Environmental Impact Assessment
  • 451-610 Fundamentals of GIS
  • 207-412 Environments of Urban Landscapes
  • 207-501 Management of Plant and Animal Invasion
  • 250-650 Wildlife Management
  • 207-511 Soil Science and Management
  • 610-680 Environmental Chemistry***
  • 610-360 Analytical and Environmental Chemistry***
  • 606-305 Vegetation Management and Conservation***
  • 606-607 Flora of Victoria*** (summer semester)
  • 654-608 Conservation Biology*** (not available in 2010)
  • 625-608 Hydrogeology****
  • 220-415 Sustainable Forest Management (offered at Creswick campus)
  • 220-503 Bushfire and Biodiversity (offered at Creswick campus)
  • 220-509 Forests, Carbon and Climate Change (offered at Creswick campus)
  • 220-511 Ecological Restoration (offered at Creswick campus)
  • 610-681 Advanced Spectroscopy - Students enrolled in the MSc Environmental Science Program, must take the following modules: Advanced Structural Elucidation and Chemical Applications of Synchrotron Radiation
  • 610-683 Chemistry 4B - Students enrolled in the MSc Environmental Science Program, must take the following modules: Automatic Chemical Analysis and Interfacial Chemistry and Sonochemistry

* Exemption from this subject will be granted if the student has completed this as part of their undergraduate degree. Students can not take this subject if they have completed 600-303.

** These subjects can be taken either as an elective discipline subject or as an elective professional tool (but cannot be counted as both).

*** This subject is only available as an elective to a student if an equivalent subject has not been completed in the student's undergraduate degree.

**** Availability of subject may depend on timetabling constraints.

Project Module (12.5 points)

  • 600-611 Industry Project in Science

Professional Tools Module (87.5 points)

Professional Tools Core (75 points)

Students must take:

2 Business Tools Units

  • 600-614 Business Tools: Money, People and Processes
  • 600-622 Business Tools: The Market Environment plus

2 Science Tools Units

  • 600-615 Thinking and Reasoning with Data
  • 600-618 Ethics and Resonsibility in Science

2 Communication Tools Units

  • 600-619 Scientists, Communication and the Workplace
  • 600-616 Science in Context

Professional Tools Elective (12.5 points)

Students must take 1 of the following Science Tools subjects:

  • 615-505 e-Science
  • 600-617 Systems Modelling and Simulation
  • 615-668 Critical Analysis in Science
Subject Options:

Discipline Core

Note: Students may take either 600-604 OR 950-603 (offered in intensive mode)
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Discipline Elective

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 2
Not offered in 2010
Not offered in 2010
Semester 1

Project Module

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Professional Tools Core

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2

Professional Tools Elective

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Not offered in 2010
Entry Requirements: A Bachelor degree in an appropriate discipline with at least H3 (65%) in the major or equivalent. As part of their degree studies, applicants must have completed at least one quarter of a full-time year of study in one of the following areas: Biology, Chemistry, or Earth Sciences.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates will:

  • have the ability to demonstrate advanced independent critical enquiry, analysis and reflection;
  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship;
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s);
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, project activities, problem-solving and communication;
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning;
  • be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines;
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment; and
  • be able to initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces.
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