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Graduate Diploma of Environment


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Graduate Diploma of Environment (GradDipEnv)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
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 - 1 year
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 1 year
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points 32
Minimum number of credit points at 600 level 16
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 16
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

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

800 level

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


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 8 Graduate Diploma
CRICOS Code 083760F
Overview and Aims of the Program The Graduate Diploma of Environment introduces students to core skills and knowledge needed to address environmental challenges. The program provides an introduction to environmental science and management for students coming from non-cognate backgrounds and provides access to Macquarie's wide range of advanced environmental units. Students with relevant environmental qualifications can apply for a shortened program which allows them to focus in on the subjects of most interest to them. The program is flexible and provides access to subjects in the fields of environmental science, environmental management, sustainable development, geography and climate change. Students with sufficient grades can articulate with full credit from this award to 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. demonstrate an advanced understanding of the importance of sustainable human-environment relations (K)
2. describe the importance and role of multidisciplinary approaches to understanding environmental issues (K)
3. 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).

4. make informed recommendations for pursuing more environmentally sustainable societies (J)
5. effectively communicate environmental issues (C)
6. 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.

• 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