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Major: Environmental Law and Management

Major Details

Environmental Law and Management


Macquarie Law School
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Environmental Management for a Changing World (3)
Sustainability, Science and the Law (3)

200 level

Australian Environmental Futures (3)
3cp from
Introduction to Environmental Economics (3)
Climate Change (3)
Natural Hazards (3)
Urban Dynamics: Population, Housing and Economy (3)

300 level

3cp from
Environmental Management (3)
Environmental Decision Making (3)
Rethinking Resource Management (3)

500 level

Environmental Law (3)
Local Government and Planning Law (3)
3cp from
Climate Change Law (3)
International Environmental Law (3)
Advanced Topics in Environmental Law (3)
Issues in Heritage Conservation (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program This major will enable students to acquire understanding of domestic and international environmental law. They will also gain knowledge and skills for research and professional practice in environmental law and sustainable development, international environmental law, local government and planning law, climate change law, the relationship between trade and environment law, environmental litigation and mediation, and biodiversity and biotechnology law.
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. explain key principles and concepts in the area of environmental law and management (K)
2. identify and evaluate relevant issues, and apply reasoning and research skills to generate appropriate responses to contemporary socio-legal problems (T, P, I)
3. communicate knowledge in oral and written form in ways that are appropriate for legal and non-legal audiences (C)
4. recognise and reflect upon issues of disadvantage and social justice, the impact of globalisation on the Australian legal system (E, J)
5. collaborate and reflect upon the application of knowledge to advocate solutions for a sustainable global society within the context of environmental law and management (A, J)
6. reflect on feedback and identify opportunities to extend and apply knowledge and skills in broader professional and academic contexts (L).
Learning and Teaching Methods The Environmental Law and Management major is characterized by a commitment to interdisciplinary study. It is taught within both legal and environmental disciplines and engages a range of varied and complementary learning and teaching methods. There is a strong focus on providing legal doctrine as well as vocational and practical legal skills that allow the application of current law to relevant and topical scenarios enabling students to perform a number of professional roles across environmental law and policy.

Learning and teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars, web based forums, field trips, mooting and intensive on campus sessions for external students. Lectures are primarily content driven with the overarching goal of building knowledge. The objective of lectures is therefore to provide an overview of relevant topics together with critical reflection upon the challenges presented by environmental change presently and in the future. Lectures are delivered and recorded live and may feature guest lecturers who are experts in the field and can provide professional perspectives on relevant content. In some units lectures are delivered in an open forum that utilizes online material and encourages interaction with students. It is important that students engage with lecture content to ensure familiarity with the fundamental concepts of each topic included in the curriculum.

Tutorials complement the content covered in the lectures by providing closer critical analysis of key issues through active learning. Each unit embraces collaborative learning and students are expected to discuss the prescribed readings with reference to set questions in both small groups and subsequently debate their findings with the class more broadly. Many questions focus on problem based learning and require the use of applied research and use of legal instruments that are introduced in lectures and have been considered by students prior to the tutorial thereby encouraging independent learning. In some latter units such as LAW 569 students will participate in role play negotiation scenarios.

Field trips form an important part of learning and teaching in some units. Students may participate in mooting at the Land and Environment Court (LEC). Students are allocated roles and work in groups to prepare joint submissions for a panel of lawyers or a judge in the LEC. Students will attend the Land and Environment Court once a week liaising with professionals as part of the Access to Justice and Placement Program and possibly acting as a court officer. Students attend a local reserve that is protected under State and Federal endangered species legislation and co-managed by public authorities (Kuring Gai Municipal Council).
Assessment The Environmental Law and Management major utilizes a variety of different assessment tasks. This ensures that all learning outcomes are satisfied and all graduate capabilities are achieved across individual units and the program more broadly. The assessment tasks therefore test students in terms of critical knowledge specific to the particular unit and generic skills that are relevant to professional roles in both law and policy including written and oral communication, collaborative group work, research skills and community engagement.

Expertise in relevant environmental issues that is gained in the formative years of the program serves as the important basis for the application of environmental law that follows. The scaffolding of assessment tasks is used throughout the program to reflect the appropriate level of learning and to ensure that relevant knowledge and skills are expanded and refined in a coherent and cumulative way. Toward the end of the program

The majority of assessment consists of individual written submissions. Marking rubrics and assessment guidelines are used throughout the program and each Unit Guide explicitly links assessment tasks to relevant learning outcomes and graduate capabilities.

Extensive summative feedback is provided throughout the program. This includes use of marking rubrics and commentary designed to assist students with developing their skills in future assessment work. Formative feedback is utilized in some units.

Toward the end of the program students will have the opportunity to be assessed on the application of both critical knowledge and acquired generic skills in the context of a professional environment through the PACE program.

Assessment tasks in include the following activities:
• short essays
• long essays
• law reform proposals
• stakeholder analyses
• opinion pieces
• literature reviews
• annotated bibliographies
• policy briefs
• white papers (policy background papers)
• class tests
• formal exams
• online quizzes
• small group work
• debates
• general class and online participation
• mooting
• field research.
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 Graduate of this major will be able to apply their expertise to a range of fields in environmental law and management, including local government and planning, government policy development, NGOs and inter-governmental organisations, public interest advocacy and private practice.
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

2017 Unit Information

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