Minor Overview

About this minor
This Understanding the Environment minor responds to the increased need of a science based cognate background of the general principles, processes and facts in environmental science. Environmental science specifically studies the human influence on the environment and develops scientific, risk based solutions. Developing new business opportunities in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way is at the core of modern societies. Additionally, the need for rules and regulations which ensure opportunities in novel environmental business sectors as well as control of certain environmental standards are in high demand. The aim of this Minor is to educate students to be capable of addressing the great environmental challenges of our age by gaining a general cognate background on key factors such as the water cycle, carbon cycle, land use patterns and changes, pollutant and nutrient pathways, global change problems as well as identifying the key differences between urban, agricultural, mining and natural environments. Western Australia is a state where changes in land use via agricultural and mining together with growing urban spaces put enormous pressure on the natural ecosystems. This human development takes place in a global biodiversity hotspot and UWA is a key institution to critically study both, the challenges but also the new opportunities within this setting. The Minor prepares students for effective engagement with environmental organisations, agricultural and mineral industries, communities and policy, lawmakers and education. For students taking a minor which shares units with their other unit sets (majors or minors): in order for minors to be recognised on academic and graduation documents, students may only have a maximum of one unit overlapping between their unit sets.
Students are able to (1) develop a general understanding of the main differences between urban, agricultural, mining and natural environments; (2) develop a general understanding of the main drivers of human influence on different environmental systems including land-water-climate interactions; (3) develop a broad understanding of available, scientific based assessment methods of the current state of the environment; (4) develop a broad understanding of risk based evaluations and solutions of various environments; (5) critically assess both qualitative and quantitative environmental data to identify significant changes in environmental conditions; (6) demonstrate a basic understanding of using environmental data for risk based solutions to benefit society; and (7) apply critical thinking and writing skills to the interpretation of environmental science data.

MJD-ENVSC Environmental Science;

MJD-ENVDM Environmental Science and Management;

MJD-ENVMT Environmental Management;

MJD-ENVEM Environmental Science and Ecology;

MJD-GGRPY Geographical Sciences;

MJD-GSSCI Geographical and Spatial Science


Key to availability of units:
Semester 1
Semester 2
Take the following unit:

Availability Unit code Unit name Unit requirements
S1 ENVT1104 Environmental Science and Technology None
Take all units (12 points):

Availability Unit code Unit name Unit requirements
S1 ENVT2220 The Climate System None
S2 ENVT2251 Hydrology and Water Resource Management
Successful completion of
one EART1105 Dynamic Planet
or ENVT1104 Environmental Science and Technology
or GEOG1103 Urbanisation and Sustainability
or GENG1014 Earth Systems Engineering
or GEOG1106 Climate Change: Environment and Society
or prior approval
Take the following unit:

Availability Unit code Unit name Unit requirements
S2 GEOG3303 Environmental Policy and Planning
Enrolment in
MJD-CONBI Conservation Biology
or MJD-NRMGT Natural Resource Management
or MJD-GGRPY Geographical Sciences
or MJD-GSSCI Geographical and Spatial Science
or MJD-HGYPL Human Geography and Planning
or MJD-APHGY Applied Human Geography
or MJD-WLCDM Wildlife Conservation
or MJD-ENVDM Environmental Science and Management
or MJD-ENVMT Environmental Management
or MJD-ENGEO Environmental Geography and Planning
or MNR-SAPEP Science and Policy: Environmental Planning
or MNR-SPCEU Science and Policy: Climate Change, Environmental Planning and Urban Environments
or MNR-ENVST Understanding the Environment
and Successful completion of
72 points in your chosen degree
Unit(s) PLNG2203 Environmental Policy and Planning