DEVT 3012OL - Environment and Development

Online - Semester 2 - 2023

This course examines the interface between development and environment issues in a global and international context. The theoretical and material linkages between environment and development issues and processes, and the multiple dimensions of sustainability and their conflicts and contradictions, are discussed. This is done within the framework of analysing the discourse of sustainable development, which has emerged on the international political agenda as the dominant approach for reconciling the goals of economic development, environmental quality and social equity. The course focuses on the different theoretical perspectives of development and environment, and the various debates around the sustainability of development and environment. It explores how `nature? is conceptualised in policy-making, whether the goals of ecological sustainability and the sustainability of economic growth can be achieved together, and how global capitalism, poverty and ecological issues are interrelated. The course investigates the various dimensions of sustainability, and covers major environmental issues, such as climate change and water security, within the context of saving the Earth from ecological collapse and bringing about sustainable futures for humanity.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DEVT 3012OL
    Course Environment and Development
    Coordinating Unit Anthropology and Development Studies
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Incompatible DEVT 2004, DEVT 2004EX, DEVT 2004OL, GEOG 2141, GEOG 2157EX
    Assessment Research essay or report (2,000 words; 30%); Tutorial work portfolio (1,500 words; 40%); Take Home Exam (1,500 words, 30%)
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Thomas Wanner

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1. Comprehend the complexity and various forms and dimensions of development and environment issues

    2. Understand how global capitalism and economic processes shape environmental change and policies

    3. Critically assess the politics of sustainability and the various theoretical perspectives of development and environment

    4. Conduct independent research of an environment/development case study with a high level of originality, quality and creativity

    5. Work effectively in a team and in tutorial situations; and communicate ideas about environment and development issues

    6. Critically reflect on own learning about environment and development issues
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    This course is completely taught online on MyUni. All required resources (e.g. recorded lectures, required readings) will be provided on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Introductory reading:

    Elliott, J.A. (2009). ‘Sustainable Development.’ In Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.). International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, pp. 117-131.

    Perreault, T. (2009). ‘Environment and Development’. In Castree, N. et al. (eds.). A Companion to Environmental Geography. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Highly recommended:

    Redclift, M. and Springett, D. (eds.) (2015). Routledge International Handbook of Sustainable Development. Hoboken : Taylor and Francis.
    Online book in the library.
    Online Learning

    This is  an online course.

    Students need to be aware that an online course is great because of its flexibility for students - there are no prescribed class time sand students can do the required learning activities in their own time.

    Online learning, however, requires good time management; and self-motivation and discipline to do the required work and assessments.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught online via MyUni - the Learning Management system of the University of Adelaide.

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


    1 hour online lecture per week = 12 hours per semester
    2 hours Discussion Board  = 24 hours per semester


    5 hours MyUni activities and reading and preparation per week =  60 hours per semester
    5 hours assignment preparation per week = 60 hours per semester

    TOTAL: 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Theories and debates about environment and development
    Conceptualisations of Nature
    Development and Environment ethics
    Environment and Development: Security and Justice
    Green capitalism and green economy
    Green state and green politics
    International cooperation and partnerships and SDGs
    Environment and Development issue: student choice (eg. climate change, forests, global commons etc).
    Environment and Development issue: student choice
    Environment and Development issue: student choice
    Specific Course Requirements
    Students need to be able to have the technology and internet to be able to participate in this course.
    Good knowledge of how to use and navigate on CANVAS (MyUni) is expected.
  • 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. Personal Learning Plan  (0%) diagnostic assignment
    2. Research Essay or Report (2,000 words) Summative 30%
    3. Discussion Board (1,500 words) Formative and Summative 40% (30% DB postings; plus 10% self-assessment of preparation and participation)
    4. Take Home Exam (1,500 words) Summative 30%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students need to submit all assignment pieces for assessment to be able to pass the course (depending on the grades).
    Weekly participation on the Discussion Board is a compulsory component of the course. Students need to contribute to at
    least 90% of all Discussion Boards.
    Assessment Detail
    1. Personal Learning Plan (0%): students submit a short one page summary of their learning goals and strategies

    2. Research Essay or Report (2,000 words; 30%): students research specific environment and development issues of their choice and write it up in form of either a 2000 word essay or report.

    3. Discussion Boards (1,500 words, 40%): students participate in weekly Discussion Boards where we discuss the topic

    4. Take Home Exam (1,500 words; 30%): students have three days for this take home exam which will cover the course content and will be scheduled at the end of the semester
    All assignments will be submitted electronically on MyUni.
    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.