Students

ENVS8525 – Sustainability and Transitions

2021 – Session 1, Special circumstances, Other

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Peter Davies
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MEnvEd or MSc or MEngMgt or MEnvMgt or MEnvStud or MSusDev or MEnvPlan or MPlan or MDevCult or MIntRel or MEnv or MPPP or MSocEntre or GradDipEnv or GradCertEnv or GradCertSusDev or GradDipSusDev or GradDipIntRel or MPH or MDevStud or GradCertDevStudGlobalHlth or MTransInterMIntRel or MMarScMgt or GradCertSocEntre or MEngEnvSafetyEng or MScInnovationEnvSc
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit examines the origins, issues, policies, principles and processes of sustainable development (SD) and transition theories. Students are engaged in a process of identifying how sustainable development principles are interpreted in practice in different sectors including in national frameworks, local government and business and how these relate to social, environmental, economic and governance transitions. The unit involves the students in analysis of the theoretical, ideological and value bases of SD and a critical appraisal of the policy and practical approaches that exist, are emerging and required to support a transition towards sustainability.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate a knowledge of the Goals, their role in sustainable development and generate applications to policy/ practice.
  • ULO2: Articulate a position on 'sustainable development' and explain the bases for contestation
  • ULO3: Apply critical and analytical skills to policies, strategies and practices to bring about change for sustainable development
  • ULO4: Research sustainable development practice with key stakeholders, analyse findings and reflectively report on the findings and research process
  • ULO5: Communicate and present findings in different forms including multimedia, and cogent, structured reports, addressing defined issues

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Sustainable Development Goal presentation 10% No Week 4
An aspect of contention on sustainable development 25% No Week 6
Analysis of a sustainable development topic 30% No Week 10
Research report of practice for sustainable development and reflection 35% No week 12

Sustainable Development Goal presentation

Assessment Type 1: Presentation
Indicative Time on Task 2: 11 hours
Due: Week 4
Weighting: 10%

Goal, interdependence, trigger for discussion; in a particular context


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the Goals, their role in sustainable development and generate applications to policy/ practice.
  • Apply critical and analytical skills to policies, strategies and practices to bring about change for sustainable development
  • Communicate and present findings in different forms including multimedia, and cogent, structured reports, addressing defined issues

An aspect of contention on sustainable development

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 27 hours
Due: Week 6
Weighting: 25%

Critical analysis


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Articulate a position on 'sustainable development' and explain the bases for contestation
  • Apply critical and analytical skills to policies, strategies and practices to bring about change for sustainable development
  • Research sustainable development practice with key stakeholders, analyse findings and reflectively report on the findings and research process
  • Communicate and present findings in different forms including multimedia, and cogent, structured reports, addressing defined issues

Analysis of a sustainable development topic

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 32 hours
Due: Week 10
Weighting: 30%

critical analysis to recommend how to progress a sustainable development issue


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the Goals, their role in sustainable development and generate applications to policy/ practice.
  • Apply critical and analytical skills to policies, strategies and practices to bring about change for sustainable development
  • Communicate and present findings in different forms including multimedia, and cogent, structured reports, addressing defined issues

Research report of practice for sustainable development and reflection

Assessment Type 1: Practice-based task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 37 hours
Due: week 12
Weighting: 35%

 

A group-based task to prepare a report related to a sustainability topic

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Apply critical and analytical skills to policies, strategies and practices to bring about change for sustainable development
  • Research sustainable development practice with key stakeholders, analyse findings and reflectively report on the findings and research process
  • Communicate and present findings in different forms including multimedia, and cogent, structured reports, addressing defined issues

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

The unit is delivered by face to face and online (Zoom) in block mode sessions. Lectures and workshops will be carried out 5 full-day sessions.  The teaching involves:

  • Background reading by the students
  • Lectures (recorded on Zoom for external students) to introduce theories and concepts
  • Practical workshop sessions to provide opportunities for experiential learning on tasks and through discussion with other class members (preparation is essential)
  • Student presentations of tasks prepared in advance
  • Talks from guest lecturers that convey the practice of sustainability and the ways change is facilitated
  • A field trip to appreciate the practical, technical and socio-political aspects of sustainability (this may be modified for 2021 due to concurrent online and face to face program).
  • Assignments that require students to practice key skills, including critical and integrative thinking, taking a systems perspective, listening to stakeholders, and communicating through diverse forms including digital stories, writing and presenting in a logical and clearly argued manner
  • Assignments provide opportunities for presenting in different formats, working with people of different skills and cultural perspectives.

Unit Schedule

Week

Friday 

Workshop Number

Focus (1)

Activity

Assessment and due date (2)

1

26 Feb

 

 

 

 

2

5 Mar

1

  1. Introduction to the unit
  2. History of sustainable development
  3. Key theories and UNSDGs
  1. Understanding SDGs: values and actions
  2. MQ Campus and sustainability

 

3

12 Mar

 

 

 

 

4

19 March

2

  1. Environmental Law and governance and the SDGs
  2. Policy effectiveness

 

  1. Student presentations related to Assessment 1 (assessible)
  2. How to get policy traction

Assessment 1 (presentation + written component)

5

26 March

 

 

 

 

6

2 April

(Good Friday)

 

 

Assessment 2 (essay)

 

Break

9 April

 

 

 

 

Break

16 April

 

 

 

 

7

23 April

3

  1. Transition theories and models
  2. Resilience planning and practice (including guest presentations)

 

  1. Overcoming path dependencies
  2. Report writing
  3. Resilience planning: what matters and how to address it?

 

8

30 April

 

 

 

 

9

7 May

 

 

 

 

10

14 May

4

 

Industry perspectives on sustainable development

Field trip including online version

Assessment 3 (report)

 

11

21 May

 

 

 

 

12

28 May

5

SD and behaviour change 

Group presentations on Resilience strategy

 

Assessment 4 (group project)

 

13

4 June

 

 

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

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