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ENV5020 - Perspectives on environment and sustainability

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Ed Lockhart


Clayton First semester 2009 (Evening)


People's approaches to environmental issues (what they see as problems and what they see as solutions) vary widely based on worldviews, assumptions, and value systems. This unit develops students' capacity to critically evaluate differing ideological, philosophical, and disciplinary approaches to environment and sustainability, such as positivistic science, technology, systems theory, social ecology, indigenous worldviews, deep ecology, bioregionalism, poststructuralism, neoliberalism, and sustainability science. Throughout, it will explore the implications of these approaches for policymaking, disciplinary research, environmental management, and political processes and action.


Students successfully completing this unit will be expected to demonstrate:

  1. A thorough grasp of the ideas and assumptions behind a range of key perspectives on the environment and sustainability.

  1. An ability to recognize and analyse different philosophical and ideological perspectives on the environment in use (in writing, in speech, in political positions',...).

  1. A capacity to understand the perspectives of different disciplines within an interdisciplinary context.

  1. Skills in analysing the implications of differing environmental perspectives on practical courses of action and policy-making.

  1. Skills in constructing critical and analytical arguments, in oral and written form, relevant to discussions of environmental worldviews and philosophies.

  1. An in-depth understanding of the historical roots and current debates within one perspective.


Written work: 80% (4000 words)
Oral presentations: 20%

Contact hours

One 2 hour seminar per week

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