Start Date

2 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4CM163 (Internal)
4CM200 (Internal)
4CM223 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time


$AU 33,000 per 1.0 EFTSL for students enrolled in 2023

Degree overview

  • SA’s number one university for research in environmental sciences.1
  • Research rated well above world-class in environmental sciences and management.1
  • Advanced development for environmental scientists and management.
  • Gain integrated knowledge of sustainability, natural resources and geospatial sciences.
  • Develop skills in natural and water resources management.
  • Undertake a major research project with industry.
  • Flexible course options available including a range of electives to tailor your studies

1 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



This master degree offers innovative, integrated studies in sustainability, natural resources, and geospatial sciences.

It provides the opportunity to pursue higher level study before entering the workforce. It also fulfils the formal continuing professional development needs of environmental scientists and managers already in the workforce.

UniSA environmental studies programs have been developed in response to industry demand. They are designed to meet the increasingly diverse responsibilities and challenges faced by managers, and the growing demand for skilled resource management practitioners. Courses are delivered by our highly qualified lecturers, and by industry practitioners from various government departments and private enterprise.

This postgraduate qualification is offered as part of a suite of three programs (graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master). Each qualification extends to the next, so you can easily transition to a master level qualification. If you decide to exit this degree having completed the first four courses, you will receive the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Science. If you have completed the first eight courses, you will receive the Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science.

If you already have qualifications in a relevant discipline, you could be eligible for Advanced Standing and complete this degree in less than two years.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

You will explore the theory and practice of managing and sustaining our natural and built environment through core courses and advanced electives. You will also complete a Master Thesis. You will develop skills in:

  • understanding and managing resources within a sustainability framework
  • understanding and applying systems thinking
  • spatial data management and analysis
  • project management

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Arid Land Environments ENVT 5035 4.5 Rule(s): 1,2
Valuing the Environment ENVT 5041 4.5 Rule(s): 1,2
Elective 1 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 2,3
Elective 2 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 2,3
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Community Partnerships ENVT 5034 4.5 Rule(s): 1,2
Natural Resource Management ENVT 5040 4.5 Rule(s): 1,2
Environmental Planning, Climate Change and Sustainability ARCH 5041 4.5
Elective 3 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 2,3
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Masters Research Theory and Practice ENGG 5020 4.5
Engineering and Environmental Masters Design Project CIVE 5091 9
Elective 4 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 2,4
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Masters Research Project CIVE 5092 9 Note(s): 1
Elective 5 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 4
Elective 6 4.5 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 4

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums. So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12–26 hours of study when at university and 14–28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies at UniSA will incorporate both practical, professionally-focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • written reports
  • research proposals and assignments
  • essays and examinations
  • oral presentations

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Master of Environmental Science

Why this Degree

Postgraduate studies in environmental science will suit you if you are already working in natural resource management and want to broaden your skills and knowledge. They are also ideal if you have a related undergraduate degree (such as engineering) and want to move into sustainable management.

You will develop skills in natural and/or water resources management, and gain strong knowledge of the research techniques and processes needed to complete a major research project closely aligned with industry.

You will use the most up-to-date Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial data analysis equipment. All our GIS laboratories are equipped with the latest software used in industry.

Real-world connections

UniSA collaborates with over 2,500 companies worldwide – we offer our students plenty of opportunities to get hands-on experience and make industry connections.

Our environmental science programs have been developed with extensive input and support from industry experts. An industry-based advisory group has also been established to oversee the programs so that they continue to meet industry standards.

Our research is rated at well above world-class in environmental science and management1 and this research informs the basis of this qualification. We have partnerships with industries, local councils, governments, communities and other research organisations are addressing the knowledge gaps and problems of our natural and built environments.

We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos, and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

1 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Career outcomes

Your career

This degree will equip you with the knowledge and skills to take a leadership role in the sustainability and environmental sector. You could be employed by:

  • federal and state government departments and agencies
  • local authority departments and agencies
  • large private sector industries
  • small and medium enterprises (e.g. tourism, hospitality, planning)
  • engineering and consulting companies
  • non-government organisations (there are many aid and welfare organisations operating sustainability initiatives in developing countries)

Careers to consider:

  • natural resource manager: protecting and managing wildlife, trees, plants, soil and water;  focusing on the issues linked to healthy ecosystems combined with human interaction such as habitation, economic resource extraction and recreation, and the complexities of climate change adaptation
  • environmental manager: overseeing the environmental performance of private and public sector organisations; developing, implementing and monitoring environmental strategies that promote sustainable development; advising organisations on minimisation of their environmental impact

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the relevant SATAC code (see below) then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

You may be eligible for Advanced Standing and complete the requirements of this qualification in less than 2 years. Please see entry requirements for further details. When applying through SATAC, please refer to the codes below. If you are uncertain about your eligibility for Advanced Standing, please include more than one SATAC code in your list of application preferences. 

  • 2 years - SATAC CODE 4CM163
  • 1 year - SATAC CODE 4CM200

Advanced standing

If you have completed a Bachelor (Honours) degree or Graduate Diploma in a related area, you may be eligible for Advanced Standing. This entitles you to enter this degree with 1.0 EFTSL Advanced Standing, and complete it in one year of full-time (or equivalent part-time) study. The disciplines relevant for Advanced Standing typically include:

  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Management
  • Civil and Environmental Management
  • Natural Resource Management

If your qualification is in another discipline you are still encouraged to apply. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and spaces that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student services provide you with all the support you need at university. You can access a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling, career advice, social support services, as well as those through our student association, USASA. When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

You will have access to our multi-million dollar Materials and Minerals Science Learning and Research Hub at the Mawson Lakes campus. The $50 million facility supports our world-class research in minerals and materials science. It’s a place that blends teaching and research environments, making you part of a vibrant learning community.

Your study spaces

Your program director

AsPr Craig Styan

Program Director

Portrait image for AsPr Craig Styan
Portrait image for AsPr Craig Styan

AsPr Craig Styan

Program Director


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What others are saying

All of the teaching staff I have been involved with at UniSA have been fantastic. Each staff member is incredibly well-versed in their field and are always happy to take questions from students, including those that go beyond the scope of the course. This has really helped me to explore concepts beyond the face value provided by traditional teaching. Some of the courses I undertook involved field work, in particular my research project involved conducting a series of self-run experiments with field work components. Each of these opportunities have provided valuable experiences and skills that I will be able to use in my future employment. As a result, I was offered a graduate position with a private consulting company before even finishing my degree. 

Sean Sparrow

Master of Environmental Science
Graduate Environmental Scientist | GHD

Sean Sparrow.jpg

Sean Sparrow

Master of Environmental Science
Graduate Environmental Scientist | GHD