Understanding the complex relationship between development processes and the natural environment in and urban and rural context.

Coordinator: Dr Vanessa Lamb


There is a complex relationship between development processes and the natural environment, in developing economies and in both urban and rural areas. The Development specialisation analyses and provides skills necessary for the sustainable development of economies and environments. Understanding ‘environment and development’ draws upon inter-faculty expertise at the University of Melbourne.

Students will study rural and urban landscapes and can look at issues including international development policy, carbon sequestration in the tropics, the political ecology of development, food security, biodiversity conservation, urban growth and planning, and sustainable livelihoods.

  • Designed for

    Students with a wide range of academic backgrounds seeking an interdisciplinary perspective on climate change.

  • Example Career outcomes
    • Non-Government Organisations
    • Training program developer
    • Policy advisor/officer

View full list of Development subjects in the Handbook

Example study plan (200 point program)

Year 1

Semester 1

Sustainability Governance and Leadership

Political Ecology of Development

Development Theories

Civil Society

Semester 2

Risk Management and Public Participation

Monitoring and Evaluation in Development  

Social Impact Assessment and Evaluation  

Environmental Law

Year 2

Semester 3

Bushfire Planning Management

Project Management and design

Environmental Research Project

Semester 4

Interdisciplinarity and the Environment

Environmental Monitoring and Audit

Environmental Research Project

Jemma Gray
Gemma Gray,
Program Administrator,
RedR Non-profit
humanitarian organisation

"I spent some time teaching in a volunteer organisation in Peru, and coming into the program, decided that I wanted to learn more about how societies develop and how this process can be improved. I have a background in Urban Planning and Design which I think really helped me to understand many issues in the environment but not the reasons behind them. I chose to focus on emergency management and disaster relief and am now working at RedR Australia delivering customised training in the humanitarian sector."