Social Development and the Environment

University of Newcastle

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Social Development and the Environment

  • Host University

    University of Newcastle

  • Location

    Newcastle, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This is the first course in a sequence that covers the social dimensions of environmental issues and environmental management. The course traces the social and economic development of Australia through its Indigenous history and European colonisation. The concepts of growth and development are critically evaluated and applied to the transformations of the natural environment, the dispossession of Indigenous peoples and the structural and cultural features of contemporary Australian society. The concepts of wilderness, natural heritage, and resource use are introduced to explore attitudes towards conservation, preservation and "wise use", and to highlight the entanglement of nature and culture in the Australian landscape. The questions of sustainability and environmental justice are considered in relation to contemporary Australian society and environments.
    1. Apply the insights from Australian environmental history to issues in environmental management;
    2. Critically analyse different models/theories of the concept of development as they apply to the Australian context;
    3. Have particular regard for the impact of development on Indigenous people;
    4. Have an understanding of 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. Appreciate the interconnectedness between humans and the environment.
    As indicated in the course description, this course covers material relevant to Australian environmental history and the impacts of the development of the Australian environment since 1788. Topics will be selected from:
    The concepts of Western progress and development and the expansion of Europe into the New World;
    Australian Environmental History;
    Australia as an Indigenous landscape in contemporary, colonial and precolonial eras;
    The European colonisation of Australia and its impact on Indigenous Australia;
    The impact of colonisation on the Australian environment;
    Urban natue and the environment;
    Heritage values in Australia;
    Sustainability, environmental justice and directions for future social development.
    Presentation: Tutorial Presentation
    Report: Field Trip Report
    Essay: Research Essay
    Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.