Postgraduate Diploma in Bushfire Management

Course PD-BUSHFMG (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013 - Creswick
CRICOS Code: 073111M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Christopher Weston


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Melbourne School of Land & Environment (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

This course no longer accepts new enrolments. Students wishing to apply for this course should view The Postgraduate Diploma of Bushfire Planning and Management (PD-BFIREPM).

The Postgraduate Diploma of Bushfire Management (PGDip Bushfire Management) will provide students with the opportunity to study up to four specialized bushfire science and management subjects (50 points), two subjects on the topic of community engagement for natural resource management (25 points) and, as a capstone subject, write a project report analysing a bushfire management topic (25 points). The PGDip Bushfire Management is a coursework award based on existing subjects offered at 400 and 500 levels by the Melbourne School of Land and Environment. The PGDip Bushfire Management will meet an urgent need to equip existing natural resource management professionals with world's best practice skills in managing and responding to fire risk in forest ecosystems. The course will cover aspects of bushfire planning and management including management of biodiversity, ecosystem processes, the implications of climate change for bushfire risk mitigation, community natural resource management including engagement and negotiation skills.


The PGDip Bushfire Management will qualify students for specialist fire management positions within the forest and natural resource management sectors and provide a pathway to further study, by:
(a) Developing knowledge, skills, understanding and competence in the area of bushfire science and management including community engagement for natural resource management;
(b) Developing a thorough approach to bushfire management theory and practice through an understanding of the biological, environmental and social drivers of forest fire management in Australia and internationally;
(c) Increasing knowledge and analytical capabilities appropriate to bushfire management
(d) Developing competence in the design, conduct and analysis of bushfire management practices;
(e) The completion of a project report that critically reviews a fire-related topic that is current in a fire management workplace and,
(f) Extending scholarly and critical attitudes in bushfire management disciplines.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

The Postgraduate Diploma of Bushfire Management (100 points) consists of the core subjects Bushfire Planning and Management (FRST90017) and Forest Internship Project (FRST90035), plus any five 12.5 point subjects selected from the following list. Students can take the 12.5-point subjects in any order; subject FRST90035 can only be attempted after completion of four 12.5-point subjects, as it is intended as a capstone subject.

Subject Options:

Core subjects

Students must complete the following subjects;

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013

Elective Subjects

Students to complete 50 points from the following electives;

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Entry Requirements:

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant's ability to pursue the course successfully using the following criteria -
• an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline with at least H3 (65%) average in the final year or equivalent; or
• an undergraduate degree in any area including at least 25 points in one or more of Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics or Statistics, or equivalent, and with at least H3 (65%) average in the final year; or
• an undergraduate degree in any area and a Graduate Certificate in Environment with at least H3 (65%) average in the Certificate.
The requirement for at least H3 (65%) average in each case may be waived where the applicant can demonstrate significant professional development in natural resource management since graduation.

2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne School of Land and Environment (MSLE) welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and School policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable the student’s participation in the School’s programs. MSLE contributes to the New Generation degrees and offers a broad range of programs across undergraduate and post-graduate levels many of which adopt a multi-disciplinary approach.

Students of the School’s courses must possess intellectual, ethical, and emotional capabilities required to participate in the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the School. Candidates must have abilities and skills in observation; motor in relevant areas; communication; in conceptual, integrative, and quantitative dimensions; and in behavioural and social dimensions.

Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability, however students need to be able to participate in the program in an independent manner and with regard to their safety and the safety of others.

I. Observation: In some contexts, the student must be able to observe demonstrations and experiments in the basic and applied sciences. More broadly, observation requires reading text, diagrams, maps, drawings and numerical data. The candidate should be able to observe details at a number of scales and record useful observations in discipline dependant contexts.

II. Communication: A candidate should be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, members of relevant professions and the public. A candidate must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing.

III. Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function necessary for participation in the inherent discipline-related activities. The practical work, design work, field work, diagnostic procedures, laboratory tests, require varying motor movement abilities. Off campus investigations may include visits to construction sites, urban, rural and/or remote environments.

IV. Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of professionals in land and environment industries, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, the candidate should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

V. Behavioural and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Further Study:

The PGDip Bushfire Management entitles graduates 100 points credit towards the Master of Forest Ecosystem Science which in turn enables progression to a research master or PhD program.

Graduate Attributes:

The PGDip Bushfire Managementwill be highly distinguished by a commitment to:
• learning and teaching based on the best available research in bushfire management, community engagement and related disciplines;
• a respect for the intellectual maturity and diversity of experience in the student cohort;
• pedagogies that promote independent critical inquiry, analysis and reflection;
• a strong engagement with the forest science and natural resource management professional community in designing and delivering the program;
• the full utilization of human and material resources of the Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science.
Graduates of the PGDipBFM will meet the University of Melbourne graduate attributes at a high level, and, in particular will:
• be well-prepared for accomplished practice in bushfire management and natural resource management professions;
• demonstrate a respect for the evidence base of research underpinning best practice in bushfire management;
• have a strong commitment to principles of ethical practice and to furthering equity and diversity within the forest and natural resource management profession;
• be committed to ongoing development of their own professional knowledge and skills through continuing critical inquiry;
• demonstrate leadership by their capacity to plan and implement creative and productive change in their workplace and their profession;
• be able to communicate bushfire science professional knowledge both to their peers and to members of the general community.

Links to further information:

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