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Course summary

Our precious forests must be understood and managed to balance the need for timber production, biodiversity conservation, water quality protection, carbon storage and other issues.

As well as offering expertise in an industry that drives economic success in many countries, this program explores the challenges facing our forests through climate change, land management and resource strategies.

With a focus on environmental science, you can translate your ideas about the future of forestry into a research topic that will aid understanding of this essential and yet challenging field. Our world-renowned experts will support you all the way.

Graduates will have career opportunities related to plantation and natural forest management in Australia and internationally.



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The course structure is flexible to accommodate students who are interested in operational forestry or those who wish to pursue a research career.

The course provides targeted forest science and management education and training. It includes studies in natural resource management, measuring trees and forests, fire ecology and management, plant physiology and ecology, wood science, forest operations, silviculture, forest health and pest management. Students undertake fieldwork in eucalypt forests, rainforests, plantation forests and on farms. 

Students enrolled in the Masters course can also undertake a minor thesis, research project, or pilot study, and choose from a range of elective units including financial, strategic and project management. Of 16 units required for the degree, only four are required core units. The remainder can be chosen by the student in coordination with the course coordinator. 

Course Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a course. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes.

Graduate AttributeCourse Learning Outcome
Intellectual rigour

Demonstrate skills of critical analysis and application of scientific methods in forest science and management.

Make decisions and exercise informed judgement in relation to native forest, plantation and agroforestry science and management


Demonstrate imagination, initiative and enterprise in problem-solving.

Respond creatively to intellectual, professional, environmental and social challenges.

Ethical practice

Evaluate issues with reference to sound ethical frameworks and sustainability.

Demonstrate well-developed judgement on principles of social justice and professional standards

Knowledge of a discipline

Demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of forest science and management.

Apply disciplinary knowledge and skills in professional and community settings.

Demonstrate knowledge in several sub-disciplines.

Lifelong learning

Demonstrate cognitive and technical skills in self-managed learning.

Critically reflect on practice.

Demonstrate information literacy skills

Communication and social skills

Communicate clearly and coherently knowledge and ideas in forest science and management contexts.

Collaborate effectively with stakeholders and academic, operational and technical workers.

Cultural competence

Demonstrate awareness and respect for cultural diversity and the relationship between people and the environment.

Assessment varies for each unit and generally comprises a mix of assessment types, including laboratory and readings-based assignments, seminar presentations, field and investigation reports, and formal practical and written examinations. Research or independent study units provide the opportunity for students to complete a literature review, a short thesis, pilot study, or research project under academic supervision.

The majority of coursework units involve a lecture (two hours) and a laboratory session or tutorial (two-three hours) each week, for on-campus students. For units that are delivered online, students are typically provided with a study guide, together with readings from relevant text books and journals.

Some units may be offered as intensive short courses to enable participation by professional foresters and may include formal lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory sessions and field trips for hands-on experience to put theory into practice.

Technical support is provided to students in the specialist laboratories and for the use of field equipment.

A postgraduate qualification in forest management may lead to career opportunities in plantation and natural forest management. Graduates typically seek career advancement in forest management, carbon sequestration, integrated tree cropping and farm forestry, national parks and protected area management, environmental impact assessment and monitoring and environmental education and interpretation.

The Graduate Diploma of Forest Science and Management is also available as an entry point and is suited to graduates with a background in general or environmental sciences who wish to seek careers in government forest services, management of native forests, fire fighting, land use and parks management, mine site rehabilitation, plantation management and forestry restoration.

Masters graduates qualify for automatic full membership of the Institute of Foresters of Australia.


The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this web page again before acting and see our disclaimer

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'