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Graduate Certificate of Environment


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Graduate Certificate of Environment (GradCertEnv)
Admission Requirement:
Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 0.5 years
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 0.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points 16
Minimum number of credit points at 600 level 8
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 8
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

600 level

8cp from
Special Topic in Environment A: Biophysical Environments (4)
Australian Environmental Futures (4)
Rethinking Resource Management (4)
Environment and Society (4)
Australian Environmental Futures (4)

800 level

8cp from
Science in Environmental Management (4)
Air and Water Quality (4)
Environmental Measurement and Analysis (4)
Introduction to Geographic Information Science for Postgraduates (4)
Coastal Environmental Science (4)
Environmental Planning (4)
Sustainable Development: Introductory Principles and Practices (4)
Pollution Control and Waste Management (4)
Environmental Research Report (4)
Management of Degraded Environments (4)
Attitudes to the Environment (4)
Environmental Decision Making (4)


Note that students commencing in Session 2 can only study a part-time load in their first session.
Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 8 Graduate Certificate
CRICOS Code 083748B
Overview and Aims of the Program The Graduate Certificate of Environment is intended to introduce students to the skills and knowledge needed to engage with and understand environmental issues. Students are exposed to core ideas within the environmental field and undertake introductory units that explore the principles of environmental science and management. The Graduate Certificate of Environment is for students who come from non-cognate backgrounds and provides a pathway to higher level degrees such as the Graduate Diploma of Environment and the Master of Environment.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. describe the importance and role of multidisciplinary approaches to understanding environmental issues (K)
2. demonstrate advanced understanding of concepts and approaches within at least one of the following core topic areas - environmental science, environmental management, sustainable development, geography, and climate change (K)

3. effectively communicate environmental issues (C)
4. analyse contemporary environmental issues from the perspectives of at least one of the following core subject areas - environmental science, environmental management, sustainable development, geography, and climate change (T, P).
Learning and Teaching Methods You will be encouraged throughout this program to develop the relevant subject skills, methods, knowledge and understanding through a variety of independent and collaborative activities. The program is structured so that you engage in a set of required units while also being able to choose from a pool of related units designed to increase your overall understanding and to allow you to further specialise in particular areas. Within this structure you will be exposed to diverse teaching and learning approaches that are designed to be student-centred and flexible, providing opportunities to pursue a range of options oriented towards fitting your schedules.

The teaching and learning approaches are designed to encourage creative and critical thinking about environmental issues as well as a range of practical skills oriented towards professional development. Teaching and learning strategies include co-taught lectures (for 600 level units); weekly workshops that typically involve a lecture accompanied by in-class activities involving peer-to-peer learning; block-mode teaching where teaching is condensed into extended blocks involving guest lectures and practical activities spread over two or three days; and field trips to research sites to collect and analyse data. In each case staff work closely with students to ensure the best learning outcomes. The program mixes the knowledge and skills of academic staff with practicing professionals who play a prominent role in many of the teaching and learning activities.

Within the program there is an emphasis on student directed learning through peer-to-peer interaction and discussion, drawing on the diverse skills and backgrounds of people within the class. Students are expected to research subjects outside class time and present that research via a variety of formats in class. Many units are aimed at developing professional teamwork skills and require students to work in small teams to generate and present ideas and research. There are also opportunities to apply skills and knowledge to practical ‘real world’ problems by producing research reports for public, private and community sector organisations.
Assessment You will be exposed to a wide range of assessment tasks through this program. The majority of these are individual pieces of work oriented at developing the critical thinking, practical and communication skills required for a career in environment. The most common assessments involve writing essays and reports on contemporary environmental topics; writing reviews and evaluations of current policies and approaches; and making presentations and participating in discussions with your peers. Other individual assessment tasks may include quizzes, exams, proposals, research projects, academic papers and critical reflections. You will also be required to work in groups on group assessment tasks that will reflect your knowledge, as well as teamwork and communication skills.

Clear standards and criteria for coursework are included in the unit guide. Marking rubrics provided for specific assessment tasks to help tailor your work to what is expected. Feedback on submitted assignments takes a range of forms but will generally involve written notes regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your work as well as either quantitative or qualitative assessment in accordance to the assessment marking rubric. Teaching staff can also provide feedback in-class or through personal appointments for further feedback and guidance. Constructive peer feedback may be sought for some assessment tasks, particularly those that require presentations. When conducting research for a public, private or community sector organisation as part of your training, feedback will also be sought from these entities.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability With environmental challenges becoming increasingly prominent for society and the development of green growth economies graduates from our programs can expect to pursue careers in a wide range of fields. Environmental specialists find employment at all levels of government (local, state and federal), within the private sector and natural resource industries, amongst civil society organisations and multilateral agencies, and as professional consultants. Alternatively the Certificate in Environment is well oriented to people who already have careers but want to improve on their environmental impacts.

• multilateral agencies such as the United Nations Environment Program and the World Bank
• State and Federal Environment departments
• NSW Environmental Protection Authority
• local councils
• catchment management authorities
• non-governmental organisations such as the Australian Conservation Foundation or the Wilderness Society
• community organisations
• natural resource industries and environmental consultancies
• sustainable development and renewable energy sectors.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148