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Unit of study_

PMGT3856: Sustainability and Knowledge Management

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The concepts of sustainability and corporate responsibility are gaining importance in our globalised economy. They have been increasingly influencing business and project objectives and it is becoming imperative that they are incorporated into the practice of project management. This unit of study embraces this new reality by providing students with an expanded understanding of value creation and how this is delivered through projects. The emphasis is on using projects to deliver value not only in terms of economic capital but also developing social capital and preserving natural capital. These will be underpinned by an appreciation of the standards, principles and frameworks that exist, both in Australia and internationally, to govern the preservation of the environment and increase the development of social capital. Case studies will be used to create learning processes as students consider and confront the dilemmas that project managers face as they strive to deliver shareholder value, whilst considering social and environmental impacts these projects may have. Cases discussed in this unit will allow students to explore both the opportunities and pitfalls companies and non-government organisations face in targeting sustainability issues and how their values and core assumptions impact their business strategies. Concepts such as corporate responsibility, the triple bottom line, the business case for sustainability, supply chain management and responsible purchasing and knowledge management will be discussed and students will consider how these influence project delivery.

Unit details and rules

Unit code PMGT3856
Academic unit Project Management
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Fatima Afzal,
Lecturer(s) Fatima Afzal,
Marini Samaratunga,
Tutor(s) Mudassara Alvi,
Madeleine Roberts,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation Participation and discussion boards
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Quiz 1
In-class quiz based on content learned in week 1-5
10% Week 06
Due date: 12 Apr 2021 at 09:00
30 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Sustainable project plan
Students will prepare a sustainability plan for a chosen project
20% Week 08
Due date: 30 Apr 2021 at 16:30
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Individual Essay
20% Week 08
Due date: 01 Apr 2021 at 18:00
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Tutorial quiz Quiz 2
In-class quiz based on content learned in week 7-10
10% Week 11
Due date: 17 May 2021 at 09:00
30 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Knowledge Management Plan
20% Week 12
Due date: 21 May 2021 at 16:27
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO5
Assignment Group presentation
Students will present their assignment to the class
10% Week 12
Due date: 24 May 2021 at 09:00
10 min
Outcomes assessed: LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Participation: This will be marked based on students’ involvement (interaction, discussions, presentations) in the class activities held during weekly workshops with class activities time and on the discussion board.

    Online Quiz: The workshops will cover the general information needed for the quiz. Questions are in the form of multiple choice. Specific instructions about how to take the quiz will be given in the workshops.

    Assignment 1 (Individual): Students will write an essay on a given topic (2000 words).

    Assignment 2 (Group): This is a team activity that involves the submission of a written project management deliverable. In teams of 4 to 5 you will be asked to choose a real project case study and prepare a sustainability management plan and a knowledge management plan. It will incorporate a detailed sustainability management plan outlining the sustainability objectives, methods, scope, deliverables and benefits to ensure project outcomes are aligned with the overarching business strategy and corporate values. The knowledge management plan needs to relate to project objectives and success measures which clearly include economic, social, and natural capital concepts.

    Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.­­­

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.


Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see


For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Late submissions will incur a penalty of 10% per day.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Learning activities and workshop preparation - refer Canvas Independent study (110 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 01 Introduction to subject - sustainability concepts; sustainability in project management Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 02 Understanding the UN sustainable development goals Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Sustainability frameworks, standards and guidelines; the value of sustainability Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
Week 04 P5 standard for sustainability in projects Workshop (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Sustainability Management Plan Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 In-class quiz Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Knowledge Management for PM Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Guest Lecture Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 09 Knowledge Strategies and Framework Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Management and Sustainability for Project Success Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 11 In class Quiz Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Group presentations Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO5
Week 13 Group presentations Workshop (2 hr) LO2 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

This unit is delivered in a blended mode, which means that students are expected to do some pre-reading and watch online videos embedded in each module before coming to face to face interactive workshops sessions.

It is an essentail requirement to attend workshops in this unit of study, studenst would engage with peers to do some problem solving excercises during workshops and would be given participation marks. 

Students with less than 70% of the attendance would fail the unit.


Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. contribute to complex project work, within a clear framework, with an emphasis on the incorporation of sustainability principles in project management
  • LO2. Work in a team to prepare planning documentation for complex projects that incorporate sustainability principles, frameworks and objectives, as well as relevant planning documentation including project proposals, procurement plans, and business cases
  • LO3. Contribute to the tailoring and selection of project delivery approaches based on the context and objectives of the project. This will include the clear articulation of project objectives and approaches to ensure that benefits are realised
  • LO4. Interpret and communicate complex material and concepts in a logical, clear, and compelling manner, including the identification of aligned reference sources
  • LO5. Make competent, thoughtful use of project management language, models, and processes.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes are made to assessment tasks to suit hybrid learning


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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