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ECO3030 Sustainable Economies

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Sustainable Economies
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Commerce
Student contribution band : Band 3
ASCED code : 091901 - Economics
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Khorshed Alam

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


The tremendous improvements in our standards of living during the twentieth century are the fruits of economic growth. However, when considering environmental and other costs associated with growth, the question being raised is: are there limits to economic growth? Many believe that this is not an either/or choice; rather a balance between environment and development is both possible and is happening. Countries do not have to abandon their development potentials to preserve the environment. In fact economic development is essential to maintaining our standards of living. The notion of sustainable economies allows economic development not based on the exploitation of natural resources and the environment in a way that cannot be sustained. Policies and strategies can be designed and implemented to improve economic efficiency, and thus promote economic development, minimise adverse environmental effects and internalise the externalities into the decision making process.


This course introduces students to a way of thinking about environmental problems and achieving sustainable economic development, based on economic principles. The course provides a background to the study of resource and environmental economics by putting it in the context of economy-environment interdependence and sustainability concerns, and the fundamental characteristics of an economic approach to environmental problems and their assessment. Both macro and microeconomic principles and their application are covered, as is the essence of economic perspectives. Both regulatory and market-based approaches are explored in an effort to protect natural resources and improve environmental quality. General emphasis is placed upon the improvement of economic welfare through the application of economic principles in the search for sustainable economic development.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. explain the use of economic principles and policies in the achievement of sustainable economies;
  2. understand the basic economic concepts and the analytical tools for dealing with environmental and natural resource issues and demonstrate problem-solving skills through their targeted application;
  3. understand the working and effects of the price system, regulatory and market-based incentives, and economic valuation, impact assessment and appraisal methods;
  4. discuss the conditions for and requirements of sustainable economies;
  5. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills through the comprehension, critical analysis and application of set texts to serve a designated purpose;
  6. demonstrate written communication skills using appropriate conventions and structure.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to sustainable development and environmental economics 20.00
2. Modelling the market process 10.00
3. Requirements of sustainability: sustainable management of natural resources 20.00
4. Assessing sustainability: economic analysis of environmental mitigation strategies 20.00
5. Assessing sustainability: macroeconomic impacts 10.00
6. Economic growth, productivity and the environment 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Harris, JM & Roach, B 2017, Environmental and natural resource economics: a contemporary approach, 4th edn, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxford.
We will provide electronic copies of articles and chapters of books from outside of the prescribed text which you will need to read. These are referenced in each module.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Callan, SJ & Thomas, JM 2012, Environmental economics and management: theory, policy, and applications, 6th edn, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason, Ohio.
Perman, R, Ma, Y, Common, M, Maddison, D & McGilvray, J 2011, Natural resource and environmental economics, 4th edn, Addison-Wesley, Harlow, England.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Private Study 135.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE PARTICIPATION 100 10 16 Oct 2020 (see note 1)
ONLINE EXAMINATION 50 50 End S2 (see note 2)

  1. Students' online participation is organised into three main discussion topics with specific due dates for each respective discussion. This task will be assessed and counts towards the final grade. This assessment item is different from forum discussions conducted via the StudyDesk. Details including the specific due dates for each discussion topic will be provided via the StudyDesk.
  2. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    This is a restricted examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the examination for this course are:
    1. writing materials. These must be non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination.
    2. an unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary). A student whose first language is not English may take a translation dictionary into the examination room. A translation dictionary with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S2 2020 are: The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date.

    Requirements after S2, 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Date printed 6 November 2020