Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Social development occurs from the moment of our birth, throughout our life, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously. It influences our belief systems and can have culturally specific implications for how we view the environment and our own place in the world. This course is the first in a sequence (followed by ENVS2008, then ENVS3006) that covers the social and cultural dimensions of environmental history and change from pre-colonial times through to the modern day where issues such as justice, heritage, biosecurity, mobility and urban expansion are examined as we consider what contemporary environmental management should look like. Comprising of lectures, online content, guest speakers, national and international case studies, a field trip and tutorials, throughout this course you will explore attitudes towards conservation, preservation and the "wise use" of resources and the environment. You will also discover how nature and culture are inseparable in our understanding and treatment of the Australian landscape both in the past and today.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Apply insights from Australian environmental history to contemporary environmental management issues;

2. Identify and explain the different models/theories of the concept of development as they apply to the Australian context;

3. Articulate and describe the impact of development on Indigenous people;

4. Illustrate the main features of social systems and cultural values as they apply to natural systems' management in contemporary Australia;

5. Determine the role of 'values' in the assessment of natural and cultural heritage;

6. Demonstrate the interconnectedness between humans and the environment.


1. Introducing social development and environmental history - how we frame our world.

2. Australia’s Aboriginal and colonial history - the impacts and consequences.

3. Wilderness and heritage – is there a difference?

4. The impact of the urban and population growth – can we still think sustainably?

5. New threats and designs for the future.


This course replaces EMGT1020. If you have successfully completed EMGT1020 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Presentation: Tutorial Presentation

Report: Field Trip Report

Essay: Research Essay

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Tutorial: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students must attend 80% of the tutorial classes.
  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety and fieldwork induction.

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks starting in week 9


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


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks starting in week 2

Tutorials run in weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12.

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.