Course guide – Environment suite

At the Office for Environmental Programs you will be guided through the process of selecting subjects, helping you develop a plan that fits with your academic background, interests and career objectives.

Welcome to the Master of Environment, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Diploma in Environment. You are joining over 400 fellow students who are passionate about the environment and sustainability. The program has over 20 years of success built on the enthusiasm and expertise of staff and students.

This page will assist you in your journey through the Masters, Graduate Diploma, or Graduate Certificate. As you now have access to over 200 subjects from across 9 faculties and schools at the University of Melbourne, this page aims to help you think purposefully about your choices and ensure that you select subjects that meet your learning objectives and career goals.

We  recommend that you read through all available information prior to enrolment.

Contact information:

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  • Understanding your course requirements

    Degrees Offered

    You will be enrolled in one of the following programs:

    • Master of Environment
    • Graduate Certificate in Environment
    • Graduate Diploma in Environment

    If you are in the Master's degree, you will also be enrolled in one of the 12 specialisations (which are similar to 'majors'). Each specialisation offers a specific selection of subjects which are focused on specific career goals.

    You may be able to change specialisations during your degree (with approval of the new specialisation coordinator) and many students take advantage of this option as their environment knowledge develops.

    Each qualification and specialisation has different requirements determined by the academic goals of the relevant academic field. It is important to understand your course and specialisation requirements prior to completing your course plan, as these provide guidance on what knowledge is assumed.

    Course requirements can be searched in the University Handbook.

    Subject Types

    Your course plan will generally include four subject types - core, discipline, capstone, and elective. Each type is designed to build a coherent program of study providing you with essential skills and knowledge in achieving your learning outcomes.

    Core subjects (compulsory)

    There are two core subjects in the Master of Environment:

    Both core subjects are offered in Semester 1 and Semester 2.

    Specialisation Subjects (compulsory)

    Most specialisations require you to take two or three subjects that ensure you develop appropriate expertise in your specialisation. We recommend you complete these subjects in your first one or two semesters.

    You can check the specialisation subjects for your specialisation in the University Handbook.

    Note: there are no compulsory specialisation subjects for the tailored specialisation, or for the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Environment.

    Capstone Subjects (compulsory)

    Capstone subjects aim to tie together all the different skills and knowledge you have gained into a single activity, mirroring the most common professional activities that our graduates undertake. The capstone subjects provide opportunities to complete independent research or an internship and should be taken towards the end of your degree.

    Please visit our Capstone Projects page for more information.

    Elective Subjects

    Elective subjects comprise the bulk of your degree and are offered from across the University of Melbourne. Each specialisation has its own focused set of electives developed around the specialisation's disciplinary base.

    You can check the elective subjects for your specialisation in the University Handbook.

    Recommended Interdisciplinary Elective Subject

    ENST90032 Sustainability and Behaviour Change provides an interdisciplinary exploration of behaviour change for sustainability, drawing on fields of psychology, sociology, marketing and behavioural economics. This subject is offered in both Semester 1 and Semester 2 and is an elective option for all specialisations in the Master of Environment

  • Setting your learning objectives

    Questions for reflection

    • What knowledge, skills and experience do you already have?
      • Consider your past studies, work and volunteer experience.
    • Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years time?

    Consider :

    • The kind of roles you would like to work in (e.g. research, community engagement, planning, design, management);
    • The sectors and organisations that interest you (e.g. government, corporate, not-for-profit, health, education, energy)
    • What knowledge do you need to develop so you can work in that space?

    Here are some examples to help you brainstorm. Knowledge of:

    • How the energy sector is structured;
    • How the environment shapes human health;
    • Ecological processes relating to invasive species.
    • What are the skills you need to develop so you can work in that space?

    For example, do you require skills in:

    • Project management;
    • Research;
    • Environmental auditing and reporting.
  • Exploring specialisations

    There are 12 specialisations available in the Master of Environment, each with different learning outcomes and compulsory subjects. You may only be enrolled in one specialisation.

    You can explore our specialisations on our dedicated Specialisations page, or look up the requirements for each specialisation in the University Handbook.

    Our Specialisations page also includes sample study plans to help you understand how to plan your studies.

    Students in the Graduate Diploma and Graduate certificate do not have specialisations.

    In exploring specialisations, pay particular attention to the learning outcomes of each one. Keep in mind that the tailored specialisation allows the greatest freedom of choice - but you need to be especially careful when choosing subjects to ensure you develop a clear area of expertise. All 12 specialisations can be tailored to some extent; most have extensive elective lists, and Specialisation Coordinators can approve alternative electives where the subject supports your learning goals and the broader goals of the specialisation.

    If you wish to change your specialisation there are two processes:

    • Prior to enrolment in ANY subjects: Your study plan will have a specialisation already allocated in it based on the preferences you listed in your application for the Master of Environment. If, after reviewing the specialisation information, you wish to undertake a different specialisation and HAVE NOT enrolled in any subjects, please contact (using your student email account) to request the change.
    • After enrolment in subjects, or at any time during your studies: Once you have enrolled in subjects, or at any time during your studies, you may still be able to change your specialisation. To do so, you will need to contact the Specialisation Coordinator of the specialisation you wish to change into via email (contact details are in the University Handbook) to request approval. Once you have obtained written approval, you will need to submit an Enrolment Variation Form and our central teams will process your request.
  • Subject clusters

    Subject Clusters

    Alongside the specialisations, subject clusters have been developed to bring together material with related learning outcomes and skills. These clusters aim to help you navigate the many electives available to you in this program. You might use the clusters to help you:

    • Identify subjects that will help you develop specific professional skills; or
    • Identify subjects that will help you build knowledge in a specific area.

    You are not required to take subjects from a specific cluster, these are just suggestions to help you focus your elective enrolment. Clusters are not listed in the Handbook, and the subjects listed in clusters may not be available in your specialisation. If you are interested in subjects in a particular cluster and those subjects are not listed in your specialisation, talk with your Specialisation Coordinator about whether they might be suitable for you.

    Subject clusters are particularly useful for those students in the Tailored Stream.

    Information on on subject clusters can be found on our Subject Clusters page.

  • Planning for your capstone experience

    All students in the 200 point pathway Master of Environment must complete at least 12.5 points of capstone studies. If you are taking the 100 point pathway in the Masters or are enrolled in the Graduate Diploma you may also wish to undertake this valuable experience.

    It is recommended that students complete their capstone subject requirements toward the end of their studies as:

    • It allows you to combine and practice more of your newly learnt expertise in a practical situation;
    • Your career goals may change through the degree and therefore the best capstone for you may change between the beginning and end of the degree;
    • Some administrative preparation is required for the capstone experience, such as finding a research supervisor or a suitable work placement. The University and the OEP have many resources to help you with this, but it can take some time.
    • Supervisors often request completion of a research skills subject prior to commencing a research subject.

    We therefore encourage you to start thinking about your preferred capstone experience as early as possible.

    Capstone Project Options

    Research: If you are considering further research after your masters, you should complete at least 25 credit points of research for the Masters to be used as entry to Doctoral study at Melbourne. Further information is available on our Research and Industry Projects webpage.

    Internships and Industry links: An internship is a great way to explore the professional sphere and/or get a 'foot in the door' for a particular workplace. An industry-research project is another way to achieve this while also undertaking research. You can also link to industry through a standard research project, the difference is the degree of formal (contractual) links. Find out more about internships on our Internships webpage.

  • Course planning form

    Now that you have explored the options available to you in either the Master of Environment, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Diploma of Environment, you can complete the Course Planning form.

    The Course Planning form is a useful tool for you to focus your thoughts regarding your study plan, and will act as a record and guide as you move through the enrolment process.

    We also ask that you complete the Course Planning Form prior to booking an appointment with one of our academic team as this will assist us in giving you accurate and timely advice regarding your studies.

    Access the Course Planning Form .

  • Book a course advice appointment

    Master of Environment, Graduate Diploma of Environment and Graduate Certificate of Environment students are encouraged to access the Stop 1 ‘Course Advice and Enrolment Assistance’ website for information and to book in for a course planning appointment or lodge a web form for assistance.

    As a student in the Master of Environment, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Diploma in Environment, you also have access to one-on-one course advice appointments with our academic team.

    These appointments are available to you throughout your studies with us.

    Our academic team can advise and assist on subject selection, specialisation selection, capstone requirements, and learning outcomes.

    If you are feeling a little lost regarding developing your study plan after reading through the above information, we highly recommend you book a course advice appointment prior to enroling in subjects.

    Similarly, students intending to undertake the Tailored Specialisation and strongly encouraged to book a course advice appointment.

    Course advice appointments can be booked through our Course Advice page.

    Please complete a Course Planning Form prior to your appointment.

    Note: our academic team may be unable to assist with enrolment related enquiries (eg. technical issues with the enrolment system, or advice on University enrolment policies, fees, or visa requirements). For these types of enquiries, we recommend you contact Stop 1.

  • Useful links

    Please find below useful links to knowledge articles and other resources that will assist you through your enrolment:

    • Enrolment Troubleshooting - troubleshooting guide for the most common enrolment questions
    • Stop 1 - your one-stop-shop for student administration questions including enrolment assistance, fee help, and more
    • Advanced Standing - information, including application process for advanced standing (eg. credit transfer, exemption)
    • Student IT - IT assistance including password reset
    • Orientation - information on orientation events and registration for events
    • Student Services finder - a comprehensive list of all University student services
    • Ask Unimelb - frequently asked questions and their answers