Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This is a capstone unit for students in the Social and Environmental Sustainability major, and integrates the main knowledge, skills, issues and methods studied throughout the major.

The unit focuses on approaches to solving real world problems and preparing students for future careers in a competitive job market. Students will learn to evaluate the complexity of challenges brought about by the interconnections between environment, society and government in shaping our world.

Students will have the opportunity to learn from guest lecturers about their career experiences. Students will design their own research project built around a real-world challenge, writing up a policy position paper to analyse its complexity and suggest a policy for solution and evaluation approach. Through this, students will practice interdisciplinary approaches to investigating topics related to the interaction between the environment, society and governance.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Social and Environmental Sustainability major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) critically analyse environmental issues, policies and laws and make informed decisions on socio-environmental challenges.; (2) evaluate and suggest policy responses to change challenges; (3) design and complete a research project in an ethical manner; and (4) demonstrate advanced skills to communicate their ideas, opinions and arguments about environmental issues and policies to a variety of audiences..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) policy paper and (2) research report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Amanda Davies
Unit rules
Successful completion of
GEOG1104 Disasters!
and GEOG1107 Human Inequality in the Anthropocene
Advisable prior study
POLS2201 Foundations of Public Policy (ID 917)
Contact hours
8 x 3 hour workshops
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.