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REN1201 Environmental Studies

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 17 May 2022


Examiner: Andy Le Brocque


Enrolment is not permitted in REN1201 if REN8101 has been previously completed.


As the effects of population pressure, unsustainable resource use and pollution increasingly influence natural systems, global social and economic stability and quality of life, an understanding of environmental issues is essential. This foundation course aims to develop informed and positive attitudes toward environmental issues, an understanding of the causes and symptoms of environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, and of corrective actions and the policies that support them.

The course provides a general introduction and overview of the emergence of environmental issues at the global scale. An inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the environment is provided at a general level for students. The material is presented in a number of inter-related modules that cover the biophysical environment, politics, economy and society, and human impact on the natural environment. The course focuses on ecological principles for thinking about the environment, the links between society and environment and the concept of sustainability. Issues examined from a global perspective include land and water resource utilisation, mining and fishing, energy production and use, atmospheric pollution, urban systems and waste management. The role of politics and economics in the move towards environmental sustainability will also be examined.

Course learning outcomes

On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. describe the ecological principles and patterns as a foundation to understanding global and regional environmental problems;
  2. analyse the human species evolution, population growth and contemporary demographics in the context of environment and biodiversity;
  3. describe the broad human interactions with the environment and the concept of the ecological footprint;
  4. evaluate human impacts in the context of: land and water resources; energy and minerals; urbanisation and wastes; and atmosphere and pollution;
  5. integrate the social, political, and economic aspects and biophysical aspects of the environment to contribute to a more sustainable future.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction and the Biophysical Environment 23.00
2. Politics, Economics and Society 15.00
3. Human Impact on the Natural Environment 23.00
4. Environment and Society 39.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Miller, G.T. & Spoolman, S.E (2019), Living in the Environment, 20th edn, Cengage Learning Inc, Boston, MA, CA.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Quiz A1 of 6 No 4 1,2
Assignments Written Quiz A2 of 6 No 4 1,2,3
Assignments Written Essay No 26 1,2,3,4,5
Assignments Written Quiz A3 of 6 No 4 2,3,4
Assignments Written Quiz A4 of 6 No 4 2,3,4
Assignments Written Quiz A5 of 6 No 4 3,4,5
Assignments Written Quiz A6 of 6 No 4 4,5
Examinations Non-invigilated Time limited online examinatn No 50 1,2,3,4,5
Date printed 17 May 2022