Subject Clusters

OVERVIEW

Subject clusters

Our streams provide specialist paths of study in an interdisciplinary context. Alongside these streams, we have developed subject 'clusters'. These clusters bring together subjects with related learning outcomes that can help you navigate the many electives available in this program. You might use the clusters to help you:

  • Identify subjects that will help you develop specific professional skills
  • Identify subjects that will help you build knowledge in an area that is not the focus of any stream.

Some things to consider

  • The role of clusters is to help you navigate through a wealth of subjects that would potentially enhance your degree, depending on the knowledge and skills you seek.
  • The subject clusters do not contain all the subjects in our program - they simply highlight particular skills sets or themes. To see a broader list of subjects available, refer to the Handbook.
  • We have provided some guidance on subject selection within the different clusters, including advice on 'starting points', avoiding overlap, and prerequisites.

What is the difference between professional skills clusters and knowledge theme clusters?

The professional skills clusters highlight subjects that will assist you to develop particular general knowledge and skills that are important to across many different kinds of environmental professionals. The knowledge theme clusters highlight groups of subjects that might help you develop specialist knowledge of a particular area (usually not the focus of any stream). These might be particularly helpful to students taking the tailored specialisation.

Do I have to take subjects from a specific cluster?

No, these are just suggestions on how to develop your professional skills and/or focus in an area of particular interest. You may choose not to take subjects from any cluster and instead develop your own custom study plan in consultation with an academic advisor.

I am taking a stream. Can I do any of the subjects listed here?

Because the clusters are new to our course planning process, you won't find them listed in this format in the Handbook, and the subjects listed in clusters may not be available in your stream. However, stream coordinators are keen to learn how the subject clusters can assist students in their stream. If you are interested in subjects in a particular cluster, but those subjects are not listed in your stream, talk with your stream coordinator about whether they might be suitable for you.

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS CLUSTERS

Research skills

Learning outcomes

Skills for planning and conducting and evaluating research.

Additional information

  • Students will generally take only 1-2 of these subjects.
  • Research design subjects often help you develop a research proposal and so are best completed before commencing your research project.
  • Some require pre-requisites studies or background knowledge in statistics, engineering or social sciences – check these carefully
  • Select the subject that is best aligned with your intended research after seeking advice from potential supervisors

Sustainable business skills

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and skills for influencing change through business-based approaches to promoting sustainability.

Additional information

  • These subjects are available to students with no background in economics. If you have some formal economic training, other options may be available to you.
  • If you are not sure where to start, consider Environmental Policy Instruments Sustainable Business Practices

Environmental assessment and risk management skills

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and skills for assessing and monitoring the outcomes or risks associated with environmental change.

Additional information

  • ENST90002 and EVSC90015 provide a starting point if you want to understand broad assessment strategies for consultancy and other practices
  • The EVSC code subjects allow you to specialise in environmental science-based approaches to environmental assessment and risk management.
  • Many of these subjects require pre-requisite subjects (e.g. EVSC90028; EVSC90016) or assume background knowledge (e.g. ENEN900028). Check these carefully and contact subject coordinator if you are not sure of your eligibility.
  • Some subjects combine theory with skills development (e.g. ENST90002 and GEOG90020) and require capacity for theoretical reflection

Social change skills

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and skills for influencing social change using a range of communication and engagement strategies.

Additional information

  • Many of these subjects combine theory and skill development and so require capacity for theoretical reflection.

Project management skills

Learning outcomes

Skills for planning and evaluating projects.

Additional information

  • Select only one subject from this cluster, or perhaps two if you want to separately consider project design and project evaluation
  • Subjects are designed for projects in different contexts: development (DEVT), business (MGMT), science (SKIL) or construction (ABPL), but are likely to cover similar material adapted for that context. Choose the subject that fits best with your career direction.
  • Project management skills are highly valued in many contexts, but particularly consultancy or development.

Spatial Analysis skills

Learning outcomes

Skills for analysing and interpreting spatial data.

Additional information

  • GEOM90008 is a pre-requisite for GEOM90006
  • Spatial analysis skills are particularly highly valued in urban or conservation planning roles.

Environmental Modelling

Learning outcomes

Technical skills in data-driven modelling of environmental incomes.

Additional information

  • These subjects are best taken in second part of degree as they require application of skills developed in earlier studies.
  • These subjects usually require strong numerical skills
  • Select one subject from this list, based on relevance to your field of specialisation

Policy development and governance

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and skills for developing and evaluating environmental policy

Communication

Learning outcomes

Enhanced skills for communication in different contexts

Additional information

  • Core and compulsory subjects will provide opportunities for developing high level of communication skills across a range of academic and professional contexts. Subjects in this cluster are selected to develop communication skills for specific contexts

KNOWLEDGE THEME CLUSTERS

The clusters in this group bring together subjects that help you develop systematic knowledge around a particular environmental topic or concern. You can draw on these clusters to help you select four or more subjects that might provide a major or minor specialisation within in your program of study. Introductory subjects are suggested for each cluster - if this is a new area of study for you, consider these as starting points for exploring the field.

Food Systems

Learning outcomes

Interdisciplinary knowledge about food systems.

Starting points

  • FOOD90026 provides an introduction to the political aspects of food systems
  • FOOD90024 provides an introduction to technical and scientific aspects of food systems.

Additional information

  • A specialisation in sustainable food may complement studies in planning or social change.

Climate change

Learning outcomes

Interdisciplinary knowledge about climate change and strategies to address this.

Starting points

ATOC90002 provides an overview of climate science as well as policy considerations.

Additional information

These subjects are all available on the existing stream in climate change, which has a broad range of electives.

Renewable energy

Learning outcomes

Interdisciplinary knowledge about renewable energy systems.

Starting points

ENEN90027 provides an introduction to energy systems across a range of contexts.

Additional information

Some subjects require background knowledge in engineering or law/regulation. Check these carefully and talk to the subject coordinator if you are uncertain about your eligibility.

Sustainable Forests

Learning outcomes

Interdisciplinary knowledge about forests, their use and conservation.

Starting points

FRST90015 provides an introduction to major ecosystem processes in forests.

Additional information

  • Many of these subjects are taught in intensive mode (often 10 day teaching blocks)
  • Many of these subjects are taught at Creswick campus

Urban Greening

Learning outcomes

Interdisciplinary knowledge about the use of plants to improve sustainability and liveability of urban environments.

Starting points

HORT90003 provides an introduction to the role of plants in urban environments.

Additional information

Indigenous Peoples and the Environment

Learning outcomes

Indigenous and cross-cultural approaches to environmental and sustainability challenges

Starting points

Additional information