Available in 2023
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces you to an economic and policy-oriented approach for exploring the environmental system and the role of government in using natural and environmental resources. The course is designed to provide a deeper understanding of the global perspectives on contemporary environmental and natural resource issues and appropriate economic concepts, models, and tools for analysing environmental and natural resource problems and exploring the strengths and weaknesses of alternative viewpoints to inform policy decision-making. Drawing on case studies, the course will delve into how underlying economic concepts and principles informed policy decision-making concerning environmental and natural resources. The course covers a broad range of issues pertaining to natural resource scarcity, market failure, the economics of pollution control locally, nationally, and internationally, efficient use of exhaustible and renewable resources, market-based instruments, environmental cost and benefit analysis, environmental evaluation, global environmental challenges, and the role of government in achieving sustainable economic growth and development.

Availability2023 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2023

Learning outcomes

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

1. Understand the contemporary environmental and natural resource debates.

2. Critically analyse public policy debates relating to air and water pollution, land and forests, fisheries and recyclables as it pertains to sustainable development and environmental justice.

3. Understand the economic and policy-orientated approach to externalities, benefit-cost analysis, valuation methods and ecosystem goods and services.

4. Undertake a critical analysis of theoretical and empirical literature and comparative assessment of competing theoretical and policy issues using real-world data in a team environment.


This course includes but is not limited to the following topics:

1.    The Vision of the Future2.    Economic Approach: Property Rights, Externalities and Environmental Problems3.    Evaluating Trade-Offs & Valuing the Environment4.    Dynamic Efficiency and Sustainable Development5.    Depletable Resource Allocation6.    Energy7.    Water and Land8.    Forests and Fisheries9.    Ecosystem Goods and Services10.    Economics of Pollution Control11.    Climate Change12.    Toxic Substances & The Quest for Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice

Assumed knowledge

Students are expected to have advanced to third year courses.

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Students are expected to complete 4 hours of guided learning via online preparation, lectures, interactive workshops, tutorials, discussion groups or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.