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Master of Sustainable Development

This information is for domestic students.
View course for international students.


The focus of the degree is on how to effect changes towards sustainable development, and the development of practical skills in leading change processes. You will have options to develop capabilities in a diverse range of disciplinary options from the environment to international politics or organisational management according to professional need.

Key features

  • Offers a practical component as either work experience, consultancy practice or research
  • Focuses on change oriented processes for sustainable development, including organisational change, education and capacity building, and strategic planning
  • Addresses the needs of professionals working in aid agencies, non-governmental organisations, government agencies, business and international bodies concerned with issues of sustainable development
  • Gives you the opportunity to study some units from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management if you wish to work in organisational sustainability


North Ryde (Sydney)

Study mode

Full-time, Part-time

Attendance mode


Minimum course duration

1 year (full time)


Session 1 (March), Session 2 (August)

UAC Code

860854 - On-campus

Suitable for

This degree is suitable for professionals working in the field of environment and development or sustainable development. It is particularly relevant to those involved in planning, financing and evaluating initiatives in sustainable development.

Through its international case-study focus, the degree addresses the needs of professionals working in aid agencies, non-government organisations, government agencies, corporations and international bodies concerned with sustainability issues.

Entry requirements

• Australian Bachelor degree or recognised equivalent in relevant field • Minimum GPA of 2.50 (out of 4.00) • Minimum three years relevant work experience • Minimum English Language Proficiency: IELTS or IELTS equivalent of 6.5 overall, with minimum 6.0 in each band

All applicants for undergraduate or postgraduate coursework studies at Macquarie University are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English.
For more information see English Language Requirements.

You may satisfy the English language requirements if you have completed:

  • senior secondary studies equivalent to the NSW HSC
  • one year of Australian or comparable tertiary study in a country of qualification

Work experience requirements

Minimum of three years of relevant work experience


There are options to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Development (16 credit points) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development (24 credit points).

What you will study

General requirements Credit Points
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 32
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

Specific minimum requirements:

The following outlines the units (subjects) to be studied within this master

800 level or above Credit Points
Required GSE825 Sustainable Development: Introductory Principles and Practices 4
Required GSE827 Education for Sustainable Development 4
Required GSE828 Research Methods for Sustainable Development 4
Required 4cp from GSE844 Environmental Management Practice (4)
HGEO810 Special Topic in Environment and Geography A (4) 4
Required 8cp from GSE units at 800 level 8
Required 8cp from BCA801 - BCA803
BIOL806 - BIOL887
BUS815 - BUS891
CBMS807 Bioethics and Biotechnology (4)
ENV units at 800 level
ENVE units at 800 level
ENVG units at 800 level
GEOS800 - GEOS814
GSE units at 800 level
HGEO units at 800 level
ICOM units at 800 level
IRPG units at 800 level
LAW850 - LAW861
POL units at 800 level
SOC810 - SOC831
MGSM868 Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility (4)
MGSM870 Organisational Behaviour (4)
MGSM876 Leadership and Motivation (4)
MGSM893 Supply Chain Management (4)
MGSM897 Management of Innovation (4) 8
Total credit points required to satisfy this master 32


  • The course information contained on this page is applicable for 2014 ONLY.
    It is meant as a guide only, to plan your enrolment or study please see the official Handbook.
    For more information please read the courses disclaimer.


Career Opportunities

Our graduates pursue careers in:

  • consultancy work with business or community
  • with local councils
  • as sustainability coordinators for regional and national businesses
  • in universities


  • aid agencies - AusAID
  • businesses such as Lend Lease, Fuji Xerox
  • government sector such as the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW)
  • international bodies such as the The United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
  • non-government organisations such as the International Union for Conservation (IUCN)


Our Expertise

Wendy Goldstein

Program Coordinator for the Environmental Studies Program and Sustainable Development Program
Wendy Goldstein_GSE staff_photographer unknown_compressed.JPG
Photo: Unknown

Wendy Goldstein is the Program Coordinator for the Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development Programs in the Graduate School of the Environment (GSE). She joined the University after 14 years of working internationally for IUCN – the International Union for Conservation  as Head of Education and Communication in Gland, Switzerland. She is now Deputy Chair of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication. Her previous position was Head of Environmental Education in NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Her research interests are in social change and managing learning and change processes and good governance.

Why choose Macquarie?

Why choose Macquarie for postgraduate study

Macquarie is renowned for excellence in interdisciplinary research and teaching, our highly skilled graduates, and our first-class facilities. We offer: 

  • an education in the top two per cent of universities in the world, giving you an internationally recognised and respected degree
  • a campus in one of the largest business and technology precincts in the southern hemisphere, giving you the industry experience employers look for
  • state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, including the most high-tech university library in Australia.
Why Choose Macquarie Flexible Study Options

Find out more about how postgraduate study at Macquarie can fit into your lifestyle

Macquarie University Library - we are in the top two per cent of universities globally

Discover why Macquarie is ranked in the top two per cent of universities globally

Macquarie University offers future undergraduate students world-class science laboratories

Over $1 billion has been invested in the campus to offer you the very best facilities

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Equip yourself with leadership potential, professional skills and international experiences

Contact us

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General Enquiries

T: +61 2 9850 7111
F: +61 2 9850 7433

Student Enquiries

T: +61 2 9850 6410


Master of Sustainable Development

To study this degree, apply through the Universities Admission Centre (UAC).

1. Select your UAC Code:

860854 - On-campus

2. Please check the course description in the on-line UAC guide as further documentation may be required for your application to be processed, e.g. a supplementary details form.

3. Go to the UAC website and select “Apply". This link will open in a new window.

Applications for Session 2, 2014 is open.

Please note: If you wish to articulate into a higher level of course with the exact same name and area of study (i.e., from a Postgraduate Certificate to a Postgraduate Diploma or from a Postgraduate Diploma to a Masters), you will need to make a new application direct to the university. Please complete the Coursework Direct Application.


If you have previously enrolled and would like to re-apply for the same course, you do not need to re-apply through UAC. Take the following steps to apply for readmission:

  1. Please see the postgraduate website for information on making an application for readmission.
  2. Print and complete the MQ Postgraduate Re-admission Form (PDF)
  3. View the Postgraduate Course List (PDF) for specific information required to complete the application form


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