Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Science, Malaysia
Monash Passport categoryDepth (Enhance Program)
OfferedMalaysia Summer semester A 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr. Holly Barclay


Humans have had an enormous impact on the world's resources to such an extent that our survival is in jeopardy. In this multidisciplinary unit, students will investigate the potential of recent research into science, medicine, engineering, architecture and social science to understand these problems and to ameliorate them - to protect the environment, enhance the quality of life and promote social justice. Students will undertake a group research project related to supporting sustainability of our planet. The projects will be supervised by the appropriate faculty, but students from any faculty can do any project. The aim of the unit is for students to make a difference - to make the world a better place. At the same time, students will learn how to undertake research, and to appreciate approaches to research across the disciplines.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of sustainability from a wide variety of perspectives including environmental, economic, engineering, public health and social justice;

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the Earth's physical, chemical and biological resources and their role in human survival;

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the ethical responsibility and impact of humans on the Earth's resources;

  1. Critically evaluate research into human impacts and sustainability and demonstrate knowledge and develop ideas as to how the impacts can be reversed or ameliorated;

  1. Design, analyse and communicate a research project relating to sustainability of the Earth;

  1. Demonstrate competence in information technology, data handling, problem solving, communication skills and team work.


Critical review of the literature: 10%
Powerpoint presentation of proposal for project: 10%
Final group presentation (eg. video, poster, webpage): 45%
Individual journal and final essay: 35%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

This is a seven week Summer unit consisting of:

  • Four hours of lectures per week for the first four weeks
  • Five hours of tutorials/group work per week
  • 60 hours of field work
  • 4-5 hours of private study per week