Skip to main content


In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course component will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the course component may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely.

About this major

The major in environmental studies examines the interactions between the natural and built environment. It encapsulates the fundamental social aspects of sustainability, environmental impact, law, ethics, development, energy use, economics and politics. For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

About this major

In planning for an environmental studies major, it is essential that you enrol in GEOS 1001/GEOS1901 ('Earth, Environment and Society') and at least one of the following units of study:
GEOS1002/1902, GEOS1003/1903, BIOL1001/1911/1991, BIOL1002/1902.

The core intermediate unit in environmental studies is GEOS2121/GEOS2921 ('Environmental and Resource Management'). All students wishing to complete the major must enrol in this unit. Your second year units will form the prerequisites for your third year units, so it is a good idea to plan ahead and have an idea of which senior units you plan on taking, in order to take the relevant prerequisites in your second year. You should consider the following units of study: BIOL2009/2909, BIOL2010/2910, BIOL2022/2922, BIOL2024/2924, GEOS2111/2911, GEOS2115/2915, GEOG2321, GOVT2228, LWSC2002, RESC2031.

To successfully complete your environmental studies major, you must take at least 24 credit points from the following units of study: ENVI3111/ENVI3911, ENVI3112/ENVI3912, ENVI3114, BIOL3007/BIOL3907, GEOS3014/GEOS3914, GEOS3520/GEOS3920, RSEC4231. This must include at least 12 credit points of ENVI-coded units.

Graduate opportunities

With a major in environmental studies, you can pursue careers in government funded organisations, in local government, or in the multitude of private environmental consultancies seeking graduates with science-based skills and specialist knowledge in environmental issues. Employment opportunities also exist with conservation and environmental groups. There are increasing career opportunities in consultancy work for large government and industrial organisations, smaller community-based organisations involved in preparing environmental impact statements, monitoring and rehabilitation.
Career pathways
Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

Units of study in this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

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