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Unit of study_

SUST5003: Energy and Resources

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal evening] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit will examine the critical roles that energy and resource usage play in global, national and local sustainability. The need for developed economies to decarbonise their energy supply and for developing countries to have access to clean energy and sustainable resources will require major changes in technology, policy and business systems. This unit of study will cover the fundamentals of energy and resource supply; sustainable supply and use of energy for industry, business and consumers; life cycle analysis; energy security and alternative energy systems. Students will gain an understanding of: different sources of energy and their uses; the economic, environmental and societal contexts of energy and resource use; the need and scope for a transition from conventional energy sources; sound principles for analysing different resource and energy supply options; the role of international agreements and federal policy in influencing resource and energy use.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SUST5003
Academic unit Science Faculty
Credit points 6
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Gordon Weiss,
Lecturer(s) Gordon Weiss,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment group assignment National energy policy
Detailed written report
30% Week 09 Refer to Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO5
Assignment Journal
Written journal plus short presentations
40% Week 12 Refer to Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Board presentation
Short written report plus accompanying presentation.
30% Week 13 Refer to Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5 LO3
Participation Attendance
Lectures - 10 out of 13
0% Weekly 2 - 2.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO1 LO3
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • National energy policy: Each group will be required to write the energy policy for a selected country. This will require your group to research the existing energy mix for the nation, understand its renewable resources, find or develop economic projections for the nation and then propose a mix of energy types to meet the projected demand. This will test your understanding of the component of the course that covered energy systems (Weeks 1 to 8).
  • Journal: You will need to find some material in the media or the literature that answer questions that are posed at the end of each lecture. Students may be called upon to discuss their findings during the lectures.
  • Board presentation: You are answering the following question posed by a company that your work for: “If we are to invest in one resource for the future, which one will it be and why”. The response is to be done from the perspective of an investor of private capital not from the perspective of society. The deliverables are a brief report and associated slide deck.


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.

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.

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
Week 01 Introduction to the course and an overview of energy and its role in society. Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1
Week 02 Understanding energy systems Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 03 Generating and supplying electricity now and in the future Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 04 The future of electricity and the role of electrification and storage Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Stationary energy including fuels as feedstocks Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 06 Transport now and in the future Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Energy and emissions Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 08 The role of government policy in developing and managing energy systems Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO4
Week 09 Water resources Lecture (2.5 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 10 The energy-water nexus Lecture (2.5 hr) LO2 LO4
Week 11 Resources for the future Lecture (2.5 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Critical minerals and energy Lecture (2.5 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Review of the course Lecture (2.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: This course has no final exam so it is a requirement for passing that you attend, as an absolute minimum, 10 of the 13 lectures.

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. Demonstrate an understanding of energy production & use, sustainable energy resources & technologies, relevant policy matters, climate change, & energy security.
  • LO2. Demonstrate an understanding of water resources and the relationship between water and energy.
  • LO3. Demonstrate an understanding of key mineral resources and the relationship between mineral extraction and energy use and production
  • LO4. Ability to research a variety of sources of market information, critically assess and form a judgement in the context of energy resources.
  • LO5. Demonstrate an ability to argue a position on an energy related matter or topic in a convincing and well researched manner.

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.

First time offered by new unit coordinator. Update of current content and relevant market topics added such as Hydrogen.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.


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