Skip to main content

Hear from graduate Rodrigo Martinez Ramirez

Our rankings

  • 19th in the world

    We're ranked 19th globally for life sciences by the 2022 QS University Rankings by Subject.

  • 1st for employability

    Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th globally for employability by the 2022 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.


In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely. 

This course will be available for students to study remotely during 2022 if they are unable to undertake face-to-face study. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely. For the latest updates on course availability, visit the COVID-19 information page.

About this course

By tackling key global issues, the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability will equip you to further your career in diverse areas from environmental science to finance, from law to urban planning, and from sustainable building design to public health. You’ll learn about energy conservation, population health, food security, sustainability policy, and sustainability analysis tools.

In this one-year postgraduate course you will boost your education with an understanding of complex sustainability challenges and discover tools to measure, report on and identify solutions to these challenges. 

Building on the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability has been developed in collaboration with the University's sustainability experts and industry professionals from areas such as energy, finance, the media, planning, health, law, and government. It aims to turn you into a sustainability professional able to extend your discipline-specific skills with an appreciation of the technological, commercial, legal, governmental and societal imperatives underpinning sustainability issues.

Offering excellent flexibility, the sustainability program lets you tailor your subjects to suit your background and career interests. First, you will build a foundation in sustainability, with core units including health and population, energy and resources, food and water security, policy and governance, social change, and sustainability analysis tools. Then, you will broaden your study of sustainability by choosing your electives across a range of areas or focus on one aspect by choosing related electives. You may also consider going on to complete the Master of Sustainability and complete a capstone project.

By joining the sustainability program at the University of Sydney, you will be part of a truly multidisciplinary experience. Six faculties across the University deliver core content, and nine faculties teaching into the program’s electives. You will be guided by the University’s experts, who are leaders in their fields internationally, and also from industry professionals, who partner with the program as guest speakers and mentors to provide insight into a range of workplaces.

You will gain both a theoretical understanding and applied skills to connect sustainability processes to specific areas of business, development, health and policy, among others. With this new understanding of sustainability, you’ll have the tools to change your approach to your current work or embark on an entirely new career.

Subject areas
Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your entry requirements

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Applying for a Commonwealth supported place (CSP)

There is no separate application required to apply for a CSP. Once you apply for admission, if you are successful in securing a CSP, you will receive notification via an offer of admission.

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is not guaranteed as there are a limited number of CSPs available for postgraduate courses. The number of available CSPs for a course can change each semester/year.  CSPs are also not automatically awarded for course transfers and upgrades.

CSPs are awarded for the duration of a course based on academic merit determined by the University and eligibility criteria specified by the Australian Government. Learn more about CSPs. If you do not qualify for a CSP you may be offered a domestic fee-paying place.

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 31 January of the commencing year
Semester 2 - 15 July of the commencing year

Late applications may be considered subject to availability of places. We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (August)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Standard closing dates:

Semester 1 - 15 January of the commencing year
Semester 2 - 25 June of the commencing year

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (February) and Semester 2 (August)

What you'll study

You may undertake the course on a full time or part time basis. Full time study is normally undertaken over two semesters.

To qualify for the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability a candidate must complete 48 credit points, including:

  • 36 credit points of core units of study; and
  • 12 credit points of units of study selected from the remaining core or elective units of study.

A sample study plan for a full time student might involve four units of study in the first semester, comprising: three core units plus one elective unit; then three more core units plus one elective in second semester. Your individual study plan will of course depend on the availability of units in a given semester.

Example study plans include:

Note that the example study plans are not exhaustive; they are intended to be a guide only.

Progression rules
Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.


Units of Study

Admission requirement

For admission to this course, you should have a Bachelor degree from any discipline. Applicants who do not meet the requirements for admission into the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability may wish to consider applying for entry into the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability. As part of the embedded program, upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, students may gain entry to the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability through an internal "upgrade". In turn, upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability, students may gain entry to the Master of Sustainability through an internal "upgrade".

There are no Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) available in the Graduate Diploma in Sustainability. However, a very limited number of CSP may be available to domestic applicants for the Master of Sustainability from year to year.

Hear from graduate Matthew Kolisnyk

Master of Sustainability alumnius James Endean discusses his career path.

For academic enquiries regarding the Sydney Sustainability Program, please contact the Program Coordinators.

Find us on social media

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.