Master of Environment

Course 441MS (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Year and Campus: 2015 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 040955F
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.


Associate Professor Kathryn Williams



Office for Environmental Programs
Ground Floor, Walter Boas Building (building 163)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

The Master of Environment is a flexible, multidisciplinary course that enables students to develop knowledge and skills for professional practice in environment or sustainability. Depending on their academic background, interests and career aspirations students can choose from over 200 subjects taught by 10 different faculties. The Master of Environment provides both specialisation in a field of environmental practice and capacity to work across disciplines for environmental decision making. Students are provided with the opportunity to participate in research projects, internship placements, overseas study, and collaborative problem-solving projects

The Master of Environment (441MS) is a postgraduate qualification of 100 points (typically 16 subjects), normally taken in one year of study fulltime or part-time equivalent. Admission is based on completion of an Honours degree (including a substantial research project) in a relevant field of study. The qualification structure requires completion of two core multidisciplinary subjects. Students complete a stream in a defined specialist field of environmental knowledge, or may complete a tailored specialisation in a relevant field.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete the Master of Environment will have:

  • Knowledge to undertake professional practice in environment or sustainability, including:
    • Specialised knowledge in an environmental discipline or field of practice, including knowledge of recent developments in this field
    • Knowledge of the cross-disciplinary nature of environmental issues and professional practice to promote sustainable futures
    • Knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to specialist field of environmental inquiry
  • Skills for collaborative and creative problem solving in environmental practice, including:
    • Ability to critically analyse and synthesise environmental knowledge
    • Ability to envision environmental change and propose pathways to realise this change
    • Ability to communicate complex environmental knowledge and research effectively to a range of audiences
    • Ability to work effectively in cross-disciplinary teams
    • Technical skills for professional practice and research in field of specialisation
  • Demonstrated capacity to:
    • Exercise well developed judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner in an environmental discipline or professional field
    • Plan and execute a substantial project in an area of environmental research or practice

Upon completion of the Master of Environment, it is possible for a student to be awarded Master of Environment with Distinction provided a student has achieved a high level of academic performance. Eligibility of the Distinction award is dependent on a calculated distinction score. The distinction score will only take into account level 9 subjects undertaken at the University of Melbourne. This means Study Abroad, Cross-institutional and Exchange subjects will not be considered. All level 9 subjects with credit points of more than 12.5 points will be included in the calculations. One 12.5 point subject with the lowest mark will be omitted in the calculation of the distinction score. Only marks from the first attempt at a subject will be used. The average mark will be weighted by the credit points of the subjects. A Master of Environment with Distinction will be awarded if the score is 80 or above.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students who undertake the Master of Environment may either pursue one of thirteen major fields of study, or a tailored specialisation, subject to approval by an academic advisor.

Specialist Majors

The major fields of study offered in the Master of Environment degree have been designed by experts in the field and approved by academic and external advisors affiliated with the Office for Environmental Programs. The major discipline areas include:

  • Development
  • Conservation, Restoration and Landscape Management
  • Integrated Catchment Management
  • Energy Studies
  • Waste Management
  • Public Health
  • Education
  • Governance, Policy and Communication
  • Sustainable Cities Sustainable Regions
  • Sustainable Forests
  • Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Science
  • Tailored Specialisation

Each major offers a specific choice of subjects, in addition to two core subjects which all students must complete.


Majors - Areas of Specialisation



Conservation and Restoration


Integrated Water Catchment Management


Energy Studies


Waste Management


Public Health




Governance, Policy and Communication


Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions


Sustainable Forests


Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation


Climate Change


Environmental Science


Tailored Specialisation

Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • an Honours degree (typically one year of study following a Bachelors degree and including an independent research project equivalent to at least 25 points) in a cognate discipline with at least H3 (65%) average in the final year or equivalent.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and, if relevant
  • professional experience.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Admission and Selection into Course Policy.

4. The minimum English language requirements for this course are Band 6.5.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Graduate School of Science (GSS) 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. GSS 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:

Students who undertake research projects of 25 points or more may be eligible for research higher degree study.

Graduate Attributes:

The Master of Environment enables students to become:

  • Academically excellent, with in-depth knowledge of a specialist environmental discipline, the capacity to solve environmental problems, and remain self-directed in their learning in this field.
  • Knowledgeable across disciplines, with a critical appreciation of the variety of disciplines that contribute to environmental practices, and the ability to evaluate this knowledge in collaborative contexts.
  • Leaders for sustainable futures, with excellent interpersonal and decision-making skills, who are respectful of diversity in cultural experiences of environmental change and have a capacity to initiate positive change and advocate for sustainable societies.
Generic Skills:

Skills for collaborative and creative problem solving in environmental practice, including:

  • Ability to critically analyse and synthesise environmental knowledge
  • Ability to envision environmental change and propose pathways to realise this change
  • Ability to communicate complex environmental knowledge and research effectively to a range of audiences
  • Ability to work effectively in cross-disciplinary teams
  • Technical skills for professional practice and research in field of specialisation
Links to further information:

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