Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Traditional approaches to environmental management assume social-ecological systems (SESs) can be managed or controlled optimally and will respond linearly and predictably. Yet this approach has repeatedly resulted in persistent environmental policy and/or resource management failure because the importance of maintaining overall system resilience has not been recognised. Resilience thinking and environmental complexity are theories that can inform better environmental management but are not commonly utilised in practice. The application of these theoretical approaches is a new and emerging field, both in Australia and internationally. This course will build students expertise so that they are able to apply resilience thinking and complexity theory through a simulated work place setting. It will give students skills that are topical, relevant and in-demand in the Australian and international workforce. Students will be supported to learn how to apply new skills to using a real case study that currently challenges society.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Trimester 1 - 2020.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify and apply key components of resilience, environmental complexity and systems thinking to a real world case study;

2. Design robust policy recommendations for the management of a real world case study;

3. Appropriately communicate the findings of their analysis and management to a professional audience;

4. Appropriately communicate the findings of their analysis and management to a non-specialist audience;

5. Work individually and as an integral part of a team;

6. Use a reflective practice to understand and refine learning skills i.e. meta-learning.


Topics will include:

  • stakeholder analysis,
  • conceptual systems thinking,
  • scenario planning,
  • governance, and
  • policy robustness.

Assumed knowledge

ENVS6525 or ENVS6530

Assessment items

Project: Group research project

Project: Individual research communication project

Journal: Reflective journal

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.