Unit description

Introduces major global and regional environmental issues associated with the impacts of human land use. Working in the context of increasing human populations, climate change and the political responses to evidence for increasing global environmental change, the unit examines issues of soils, water, air and biological degradation, placing Australian regional issues into a global context.

Unit content

The schedule of topics covers curriculum content delivered in the Online Study Guide and during residential exercises. This unit explores the following overlapping topics:

  • ecosystems and their services, environmental resources and their use
  • human population growth, sustainability and environmental health
  • environmental change, land degradation, biodiversity, climate change, and water
  • management and policy responses.

Underpinning this exploration, we introduce the use of scientific inquiry to build understanding of the complexities of these topics, and evaluate current policy and management responses.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Lindenmayer, D, Dovers, S, Harriss Olson, M, & Morton, S (eds), 2008, Ten Commitments: Reshaping the Lucky Country's Environment, CSIRO Publishing, Canberra. ISBN: 9780643095854.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Tutorial online 1 hrs (12)
Lecture online 2 hrs (12)
Residential session 2 days (1)
Reflective writing20%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.