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EVST19021 - Thinking Systemically & Sustainably

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit will investigate the composition of the natural resource base, the impact of human activity on that resource and the interrelationship between the resources, their use and the outcomes desired by humans. A series of case studies, ranging in scale from the household to nationwide will be used to illustrate the principles upon which resilience in production and other systems is achieved. Once this unit is completed the student will have a broad appreciation of the balances underpinning both temporal and spatial variation in sustainability and human efforts to control these.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites Minimum of 72 credit points.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2013

Term 3 - 2020 Profile
Term 3 - 2021 Profile
Term 3 - 2022 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 30%
2. Written Assessment 30%
3. Written Assessment 30%
4. Group Discussion 10%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 3 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.6 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 41.67% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student evaluation in Moodle.
It would be helpful if students were required to submit the details of their topics for comment to the unit coordinator in the assessments where they are free to choose a topic.
Students will be asked to submit their choice of topic or specialised subtopic for the presentation and the final report.
Action Taken
Students were offered feedback on their choice of topic or specialised subtopic for the presentation and the final report.
Source: Student evaluation in Moodle.
Students really enjoyed the content of the unit and the extra resources available.
The content will be kept much the same but updated to ensure it keeps up with this rapidly changing field.
Action Taken
The content was kept, but where new or topical issues emerged, resources were updated.
Source: Student evaluation in Moodle
Students really enjoyed the assessable forums
Assessable forums will be retained.
Action Taken
Assessable forums were retained.
Source: Formal feedback.
The assessable forums were given insufficient weight (only 10% in total), because the maximum (albeit not the expected) length of the posts was increased during the unit.
The assessable forum posts should have a greater weight (40%) and replace the final report task.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. be ready to objectively evaluate all proposals for sustainable development
  2. understand the importance of feed-back processes, and appreciate the role of simulation models in our thinking about sustainability
  3. appreciate the importance of temporal and spatial scales when assessing sustainability
  4. be aware of the shortcomings in our understanding/acceptance of the processes that lead to sustainability

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
4 - Group Discussion