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Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2016 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Science

Offered by

School of Biological Sciences




Associate Professor Richard Reina

Environmental science is a discipline that deals with the rapidly changing environmental issues facing the world today. Environmental science at Monash gives students a multi-disciplinary perspective of current environmental challenges, such as climate change, water and land management, resource use and sustainability. Understanding our environment and the biological, geographical and physical processes that occur within it is key to effective management, planning and policy. The extended major in Environmental science equips students with the knowledge and skills to span disciplines and understand interactions between the biosphere and the physical environment. A fundamental understanding of science and the application of this science to address environmental issues are core to Environmental Science at Monash. We begin with a strong basis in environmental biology, environmental earth sciences, chemistry, and the challenges facing the world. The Environmental science major then includes the choice of three streams- Ecology, Climate, and Environmental Earth Sciences-which build upon this knowledge to understand principles and application of ecology, conservation, climate change and earth sciences. Students majoring in Environmental science are equipped with the capability to seek, measure, understand and apply scientific information for the management of our natural systems in a broad scientific context.

Environmental science has wide-reaching applications in society and can contribute to:

  • protecting and managing biodiversity
  • understanding the impact of climate change on the environment
  • developing new approaches to environmental issues that contribute to a healthier society
  • identifying and developing cleaner and more sustainable resources for use in industry
  • improving the management of natural or cultural areas of importance.

There are many career options available for graduates in environmental science, particularly when combined with a complementary knowledge of environmental legislation, policy, systems analysis, decision-making, or management. Locally and internationally, environmental science graduates are in demand. They work directly in science or management roles for non-government organisations such as Landcare Australia; for environmental consultancies; in research for organisations such as the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO), or universities; developing policy for government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); in science communication; or helping manage the environmental footprint of local government, industry, or mining or engineering companies.


Environmental science is listed in S2000 Bachelor of Science, S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) and S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours) at Clayton as an extended major.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this extended major will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the methods of environmental science and explain how scientific knowledge is contestable and testable by further enquiry
  • recognise and appreciate the significant role of biodiversity in sustaining life on our planet and articulate the role and relevance of environmental science in society
  • demonstrate broad knowledge in at least one area of Environmental science such as ecology and conservation biology, climate science or environmental earth sciences and an understanding of the multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary nature of environmental science.


Extended major requirements (72 points)

18 points at level 1, 24 points at level 2 and 30 points at level 3. Students can choose units from a particular stream or mix units across streams to complete a general stream.

Students complete:

(a.) The following 6 units (36 points):

  • BIO1042 Environmental biology
  • CHM1011 Chemistry 1
  • EAE1022 Earth, atmosphere and environment II
  • ATS2548 Environmental policy and management
  • ENV2022 Environmental sampling and monitoring
  • ATS3546 Environmental assessment and decision making

(b.) Two units (12 points) chosen from:

Ecology stream:

Climate stream:

  • EAE2011 Environmental problem solving and visualisation
  • EAE2111 Introduction to climate science

Environmental earth sciences stream:

  • EAE2011 Environmental problem solving and visualisation
  • EAE2322 Environmental earth science

General stream:

  • any two units from those listed under the three streams above in section (b.).

(c.) One unit (6 points) chosen from:

  • EAE3012 Geographical information systems and remote sensing
  • ATS3552 Remote sensing of the environment

(d.) Three units (18 points) chosen from:

Ecology stream:

* This unit has additional prerequisites.

Climate stream:

  • EAE3111 Climate dynamics
  • EAE3051 Paleoclimatology
  • EAE3132 Future climates

Environmental earth sciences stream:

  • EAE3022 Hydrogeology
  • EAE3311 Physical environments
  • EAE3321 The Earth's critical zone
  • EAE3331 Catchment hydrology
  • EAE3342 Environmental cycles and our living planet

General stream:

Any units from those listed under the streams above in section (d.), and also including:

  • ATS3259 Geographical information systems (GIS) for environmental management
  • ENV3022 Environmental technology

Requirements for progressing to honours

Students completing the extended major in environmental science are eligible to take Honours in the School of Biological Sciences or the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, both of which offer programs in the field of environmental science. Entry to honours requires 24 points of relevant level 3 units, of which normally 18 points are from the units listed above.

Refer to S3701 Bachelor of Science (Honours) for full details.

Relevant courses


Single degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degrees:*

  • S2000 Bachelor of Science
  • S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)

Double degrees

Successful completion of this area of study can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Science component in the following double degrees:*

  • B2023 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • B2016 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Science
  • D3005 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • E3007 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • C2003 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Science
  • L3007 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2007 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedical Science
  • S2004 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • S2003 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies
  • S2005 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music