Unit description

The economic features of different types of natural resources are examined in this unit. The contribution that economics can make to the consideration of environmental questions is considered, along with the use of economic instruments as a way of managing and preventing environmental degradation. The technique of benefit-cost analysis and its use in natural resource based projects and other activities is explained, as are certain other valuation methods such as contingent valuation and the travel cost method. Topical issues such as population, climate change etc are also included.

Unit content

  • How the economy works: the nature of the economic problem and importance of economics in environmental management
  • Distinguishing between environmental economics and ecological economics
  • Valuing the environment
  • Market systems, supply, demand and the environment
  • Decision making for environmental management
  • Using economic instruments in environmental management
  • Ecosystem goods and services
  • Economic growth and sustainable development
  • Natural resource-based industries: fisheries, forestry, tourism
  • The economics of water resources management

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

  • Asafu-Adjaye, J, 2005, Environmental Economics for non economists. ISBN: 981-256-123-4.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Self-directed project 8 hours (13 weeks)
Completion of Learning Guide40%


Teaching method
Lecture online 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial online 2 hours (12 weeks)
Self-directed project 8 hours (13 weeks)
Completion of Learning Guide40%

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 2016 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.