GEOG 3030 - Environmental Policy and Management

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2020

This is the capstone course for the Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management. The world is facing increasing environmental challenges, including biodiversity loss, desertification, fisheries depletion, air and other forms of pollution and of course climate change. A wide range and suite of management and policies are needed to address them. This course reintroduces students to the key issues and then outlines a wide range of policies and environmental management frameworks. The course covers technical, statutory, social, and political policies. Using a field trip and a mini internship, the course focuses on building student skills so they are work ready and able to use their knowledge to apply the most appropriate environmental management policy or framework.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 3030
    Course Environmental Policy and Management
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Restrictions Available to students of Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management only
    Course Description This is the capstone course for the Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management. The world is facing increasing environmental challenges, including biodiversity loss, desertification, fisheries depletion, air and other forms of pollution and of course climate change. A wide range and suite of management and policies are needed to address them. This course reintroduces students to the key issues and then outlines a wide range of policies and environmental management frameworks. The course covers technical, statutory, social, and political policies. Using a field trip and a mini internship, the course focuses on building student skills so they are work ready and able to use their knowledge to apply the most appropriate environmental management policy or framework.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Yan Tan

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1.     Demonstrate understanding of key environmental issues;

    2.     Demonstrate the capacity to apply and develop solutions to issues;

    3.     Demonstrate competence in at least one environmental management field;

    4.     Demonstrate the capacity to analyse and communicate different methods of environmental management across different social and cultural contexts;

    5.     Demonstrate the capacity to apply a range of environmental policies or management methods to particular problems.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2,3 ,4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    ·        There is no set text for this course as there is no one textbook that deals with multi-dimensional environmental issues in the study of environmental policy and management.

    ·        Students will be provided with a comprehensive list of readings, which include a suite of peer-reviewed articles and technical
    materials (i.e. policies and environmental management strategies) on the subject. Suggested readings will be made available through MyUni for students’ easy access in due course.

    ·        All other required materials (e.g. workshop slides, assessment information, web links) are also provided on MyUni.

    Online Learning


    MyUni/Canvas is a critical learning tool and means of communication and knowledge exchange in this course. Learning materials are available each week in preparation for our workshop. Other course material (e.g. readings, assessment information) and many features of MyUni/Canvas (e.g. announcements and the discussion board) will help students to organise and manage their study.

    Students need to regularly check the MyUni/Canvas website and use MyUni/Canvas for the different assignments (for information and submission).

    To reach the MyUni website for the course follow the links from the University of Adelaide's Homepage or
    go straight to You will need to enter your username and password to enter the MyUni website. If you have difficulty accessing MyUni contact the Help Desk at 830 33335 or send an e-mail to (See;
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    The teaching in this course is based on student-centred learning principles and strategies. Students are seen as partners in the learning journey. The course employs a blended approach to teaching and learning: Small-Group Discovery workshops via face-to-face interactions in class are supplemented by effective use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the online teaching and learning environment of MyUni/Canvas. Students have reading material and learning activities on MyUni/Canvas which need to be done before
    the workshops so that the workshops can be very active and participatory. The interactive and collaborative teaching and learning thus take place inside and outside the classroom. Students learn problem-solving skills and work collaboratively in workshops.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The times suggested here are guidelines for students to achieve the course requirements and to successfully complete the course. You will need to allocate appropriate time for your study (structured and self-directed time). University policies suggest for a 6-unit course that there should be a minimum workload of 312 hours of learning activities in the semester.

    1 x 3 hours workshop per week (10 weeks): 30 hours
    1 x 8 hours field trip: 8 hours
    11 hours reading and preparation per week: 132 hours
    6 hours of research per week: 72 hours
    6 hours preparation for assignments per week: 272 hours
    Learning Activities Summary

    Week 1 Course Introduction: Introduction to Environmental Issues

    Week 2 Place

    Week 3. Urban Growth Pressure: Population and Policy

    Week 4. Environmental Policy and Management

    Week 5. Transport, Place and Policy

    Week 6. Water, Place and Policy

    Week 7. Housing, Place and Policy 

    Week 8. Field Trip Preparation

    Week 9. Report Writing

    Week 10. Time to Develop Report 

    Week 11. Pre-submission Report Feedback

    Week 12. Student Poster Presentations

    Small Group Discovery Experience

    This course is designed to encourage discussions around a range of issues pertaining to environmental policy and management in Australia, and South Australia in particular. This Course incorporates Small-Group Discovery Sessions that will enable students and teachers to work closely with each other on real-world problems linked to student learning outcomes. The topics set for discussion are tailored to their specific interests. Students can build their skills and lead a discussion on a topic of their choice and of policy relevance and importance. Student-centred learning exercises will be a feature of these discussions.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    1.   Research Essay (2,000 words): 35%

    2.   Group Field Trip Report (2,000 words each student): 35%

    3.   Poster Presentation: 20%

    4.   Ongoing attendance and participation: 10%

    Modified arrangements have been made to assessments and the details provided here reflect recent updates.
    1. Ongoing attendance and participation is replaced with Reflective Workshop Journal - 10%.
    Assessment Related Requirements

    To pass this course you must attend all workshops, complete and submit all assessments as described in this course profile. The field trip will be undertaken and students are expected to be able to attend.

    Assessment Detail
    1.      Research Essay

    The Research Essay provides an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate research and analytical and critical thinking skills. The topics (or questions) of the essay are centred around environmental POLICY and MANAGEMENT issues and interventions. Students are required to choose one topic (or a question) from a pool of topics (or questions) set by GEP staff teaching into this course and write a paper that critically analyses the strengths and weaknesses of a specific environmental policy and management approach, using case studies and peer-reviewed literature. Students are provided opportunities to discuss relevant topics (or questions) suggested by corresponding teaching staff during the seminar session each week. The research essay should include a literature review section. In order to conduct a sound literature review, students are expected to reference at least 10 literature sources (e.g. refereed journal articles and books). The suggested reading materials for each week can be used as a starting point, but students need to utilise resources beyond these. Marking will place emphasis on the quality of argument more than quantity. The referencing system that students should use is Harvard (the author-date in-text matched with bibliography).

    2.       Report on Group Field Trip to a local community

    The ability to communicate ideas in writing is an essential part of working life for most university graduates. The steps involved in writing a report based on field trip require students to collect and analyse data and information, interact positively with stakeholders and experts, identify and critically engage with other people’s ideas, present key findings, draw out implications from the findings of direct field observations and data analysis, generate an informed point of view or argument and convey that viewpoint in a clear, systematic and rigorous manner.

    This assignment develops and assesses students’ written communication skills in how to apply environmental methods to real-world environmental policy and management issues. The fieldwork will be completed during the mid-semester break. Students will be grouped into 5-person clusters. Each group will be required to complete a Field Trip Report (2,000 words each student) based on a series of exercises on the day. The final report draws together a range of new information/data that you will gain from the field trip, knowledge,
    skills and attributes that you have obtained and developed in your study in the Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Management. It should reflect the collective efforts of your team and be your most satisfying accomplishment.

    3.       Poster Presentation

    This assessment seeks to develop and demonstrate research skills in oral presentation and to critically examine the relationship between ‘Policy’ and ‘Place’ when they relate to real-world environmental issues. The poster presentation is the chance to showcase the quality of your work and demonstrate the highest standard of ‘public’ communication.

    Students should choose a topic relevant to this course. Consult with the course teaching staff.

    4.      Ongoing attendance and participation and completion of SGDE activities.

    Seminars are the forum in which we discuss the subject matter and have small group work exercises to consolidate the knowledge.
    Students will be reviewed as to their attendance and participation throughout the course. Seminar attendance is a compulsory component of the course and is monitored during the course. Students need to notify the Course Coordinator via email ( as soon as possible if you have to miss a seminar. You need written evidence (e.g. medical certificate; a note from the employer; counsellor’s letter) if you have to miss one. You are required to attend ALL scheduled seminars. All students are
    expected to be well prepared for each seminar and to actively participate in the discussion of the key questions raised by relevant teaching staff and also emerged from each week’s readings.


    All assignments must be submitted electronically via MyUni/Canvas. To check for plagiarism we use TURNITIN. Last possible time for submission is always midnight on the due date.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.