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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


Course duration

Full time: 1 year - 2 years depending on RPL granted


Session 1 (February), Session 2 (July)

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.

Minimum admission requirements 

• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent
• Three years relevant work experience
• GPA of 2.50 (out of 4.00)

English Language Requirements

IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent

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


For CSP fee information, please visit the unifees website.

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 64
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 48
Minimum number of credit points at 600 level 16
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

600 level Credit Points
Required ENVG602 Special Topic in Environment A: Biophysical Environments 4
Required ENVG603 Special Topic in Environment B: Resource Management 4
Required ENVG604 Special Topic in Environment C: Environment and Sustainability 4
Required ENVG605 Special Topic in Environment D: Australian Environmental Futures 4
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 GSE844 Environmental Management Practice 4
Required either HGEO810 Special Topic in Environment and Geography A
or GSE843 Environmental Decision Making 4
Required 12cp from BIOL887 Biodiversity Conservation
GSE803 Science in Environmental Management
GSE804 Ecological Processes
GSE810 Environmental Economics
GSE818 Environmental Planning
GSE830 Sustainable Urban Regions
GSE845 Environmental Impact Assessment
HGEO802 Social Impact Assessment and Cross Cultural Negotiation
LAW855 Environmental Law and Sustainable Development
LAW860 International Environmental Law 12
Required 16cp from ANTH821 Indigenous Interests and Identities
ANTH826 Social Movements, Knowledge and Development
CLIM803 Climate Change Impacts
CLIM804 Climate Change and The Climate System
CLIM805 Climate Change: Policies, Management and Adaptation
ENV808 Introduction to Geographic Information Science for Postgraduates
ENV875 Cross Institutional Study A
ENV876 Cross Institutional Study B
MGSM868 Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility
MGSM869 Social Entrepreneurship
MGSM870 Organisational Behaviour
MGSM876 Leadership and Motivation
MGSM893 Supply Chain Management
MGSM897 Management of Innovation
BCA801 - BCA803
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 16
Total credit points required to satisfy this master 64


  • The course information contained on this page is applicable for 2015 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 and other educational bodies 


  • aid agencies, such as 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: Paula Wells

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

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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.

Application for Session 1, 2015 closed on 23 January 2015.

Application for Session 2, 2015 open until Friday, 19 June 2015.

Please note: If you are applying to articulate to a higher level course (ie, From Graduate Diploma to a Masters), please apply directly to the University following the application instructions on the How to Apply website.


If you are applying for Readmission to this course after an absence please apply directly to the university following the application instructions on the How to Apply website.

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