USQ Logo
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

REN3302 Sustainable Resource Use

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Sustainable Resource Use
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 050999 - Environmental Studies not else
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Adam Frew

Other requisites

Recommended Pre-requisite: REN1201. 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 <>.


Present and future Australian decision-makers require an understanding of the principles of sustainable development. Students in all programs will benefit from an appreciation of the environmental impact of current land and resource uses. As options for sustainable land and resource uses become more constrained, the need for integrated catchment and regional resource planning, becomes more urgent and more crucial to Australia's future.


The course is based on an explanation of ecological principles as a basis for managing Australia's land and water resources sustainability. The effects of economic growth and traditional management approaches on land use for agriculture, mining, forestry, protected areas, water catchments and urban expansion are analysed and explained. Environmental impacts are studied and compared economically, ecologically and socially. Current approaches to land and resource use planning and resource use are evaluated in terms of their contribution to a sustainable Australian society. A major component of the course is a student project which examines a local resource management issue in detail.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the Australian environment and biota;
  2. demonstrate an appreciation of the history of human settlement in Australia and early human and contemporary impacts on the Australian environment;
  3. demonstrate an appreciation of the potential and limitations of Australian land resources;
  4. recognise the relative advantages and disadvantages of agriculture, mining, forestry, conservation reserves and other land uses;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of and be able to apply the principles of ecologically sustainable development;
  6. demonstrate a significant contribution to an understanding of sustainable resource use issues;
  7. integrate knowledge of development and conservation into their major study.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The Australian Environment and Biota 20.00
2. Human Impacts in Australia: Impacts and Land Use in Early Australia; Overview of Recent Human Impacts 20.00
3. Major Land Issues in Australia: Forestry & Fisheries; Agriculture & Pastoralism; Mining; Energy & Atmospheric Pollution; The Urban Environment 40.00
4. Sustainability in Australia: Communities & Sustainability; Policy & Legislation; Integrating Sustainability 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. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
Aplin, G 2002, Australians and their environment: an introduction to environmental studies, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.
Flannery, T 1997, The future eaters: an ecological history of the Australasian lands and people, Reed Books, Sydney.
Groom, MJ, Meffe, GK & Carroll, R 2005, Principles of Conservation Biology, 3rd edn, Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland, MA.
Miller, GT, & Spoolman, SE 2018, Living in the environment, 19th edn, Thomson Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA.
State of the Environment 2011 Committee. Australia state of the environment 2011.
Independent report to the Australian Government Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Canberra: DSEWPaC, 2011. <>.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assignments 46.00
Directed Study 52.00
Examinations 2.00
Online Tests 3.00
Private Study 64.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 (Proposal) 50 5 06 Aug 2020 (see note 1)
Online Quiz 1 50 6 14 Aug 2020 (see note 2)
Online Quiz 2 50 6 11 Sep 2020 (see note 3)
Assignment 2 (eSeminar) 50 17 17 Sep 2020 (see note 4)
Online Quiz 3 50 6 23 Oct 2020 (see note 5)
Online Examination 120 60 End S2 (see note 6)

  1. Assignment must be submitted via the online submission system on the Course Studydesk.
  2. Online Quizzes will be undertaken via the course StudyDesk and each must be completed in a single session within the specified period.
  3. Online Quizzes will be undertaken via the course StudyDesk and each must be completed in a single session within the specified period.
  4. Assignment must be submitted via the online submission system on the Course Studydesk.
  5. Online Quizzes will be undertaken via the course StudyDesk and each must be completed in a single session within the specified period.
  6. This will be an open examination. 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 official Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and 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 complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for the examination.

  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 weighted aggregate of the 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. Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination). Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries 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 normally be held during the examination period at the end of the next exam period, although at the discretion of the examiner, in consultation with the student(s) an alternative date may be arranged.

  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. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment to USQ via electronic submission on the Course Studydesk. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  2. It is not possible to extend or defer the online quizzes. Students will need to complete the quizzes in the specified period on the course Studydesk.

  3. Students must use the assignment templates provided on the Course Studydesk for electronic submission of assignments.

  4. In accordance with Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences and USQ regulations, applications for extensions to assignment due dates must be made in writing to the Examiner before the assignment due date. Applications for extensions must be accompanied by appropriate documentary evidence.

  5. 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.

Date printed 6 November 2020