Studying environmental sciences and sustainability in Australia

Find out why studying environmental science and sustainability in Australia is a great choice for you and the future of our planet.

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24 January 2023

A group of internation students are standing examining equipment on the rocks at Magnetic Island

Are you ready to become a champion of natural environments and our future?

When you study environmental sciences and sustainability, you will learn how to find solutions to environmental issues using biology, chemistry, physics and other sciences. Or how to create strategies that influence environmental policies, planning and management.

In this article, we outline the ways in which studying environmental sciences and sustainability in Australia can provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a positive impact on the planet.

What do you learn in environmental sciences and sustainability courses? 

Environmental sciences and sustainability courses give you an understanding of global, regional and local environmental issues. You’ll also learn the practical skills that you need to make a difference. 

There are a range of courses to choose from in this area. You can focus more on applied sciences (such as chemistry or biology) or social sciences (such as policy and planning).  

There are also courses that give you a broad understanding of environmental issues (such as environmental studies and environmental safety). You can even study specific types of environments, like rainforests or marine areas.

Some of the topics you can choose to study include: 

  • environmental impact assessment 
  • soil and water conservation 
  • natural resource management 
  • environmental biology 
  • global warming 
  • wildlife conservation 
  • marine protection 
  • renewable energy 
  • environmental health and safety. 

Why study Environmental Sciences and Sustainability in Australia?  

Studying environmental sciences and sustainability will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a positive impact on the world. Here are just some of the reasons why Australia is a good choice for your studies.    

1. High-Quality Education 

Australian universities have strong programs in environmental sciences and sustainability, with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches and real-world applications. Australian courses are designed to meet international standards, so you can be confident that your studies in environmental sciences and sustainability will be valuable wherever you go. 

2. Research Excellence  

Australian universities are also known for their research excellence in environmental sciences and sustainability. Many universities have research centres and institutes dedicated to sustainable development, where students can participate in cutting-edge research projects and gain hands-on experience. 

3. Career Opportunities 

The field of environmental sciences and sustainability is growing rapidly, with increasing demand for professionals with knowledge and skills in these areas. Graduates in Australia are well-prepared for a wide range of careers, including in government, non-government organisations, private sector, research and consulting. 

4. Access to Nature 

Australia is known for its unique and diverse natural environment, from the Great Barrier Reef to the bushland, the outback and the rainforest. This provides students with an opportunity to study and research the environment in its natural setting. 

5. Australia is at the forefront of sustainability 

Sustainability is a crucial response to shared environmental, economic and social challenges. The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) help make sustainable development a global priority, with shared objectives and responsibilities.

Australian universities are at the forefront of global sustainability as seen in the latest rankings.

The QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024: 

The QS World University Rankings: Sustainability, is a ranking system that evaluates universities based on their ability to tackle the world’s greatest environmental, social and governance challenges. Indicators are split into environmental sustainability measures and social impact measures. In the latest rankings, 16 Australian universities were in the top 100, with two of those being in the top 10.

QS Sustainability Rankings 2024- Australian Universities in top 100. The University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and The University of NSW are top 3 respectively.

THE Impact Rankings 2023:  

The annual Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking assesses the social and economic contributions of universities across the world. It uses metrics based on the UN SDGs across four areas: research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.

In the most recent global Impact Rankings from THE, Australia has 15 Australian universities ranked in the top 100 universities globally for impact against the UN SDGs. 

Table showing the 15 Australian universities ranked in the top 100 universities globally for impact against the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023. Western Sydney University’s is ranked number 1 in the world. University of Tasmania’s world rank is 5, RMIT University’s world rank is equal 7, University of Technology Sydney’s world rank is equal 14, UNSW Sydney’s world rank is equal 18, Monash University’s world rank is 21, University of Newcastle’s world rank is 28, University of the Sunshine Coast’s world rank is equal 29, Macquarie University’s world rank is 39, La Trobe University’s world rank is 57, University of Wollongong is equal 61, Griffith University’s world rank is equal 72, Central Queensland University’s world rank is equal 74, Charles Sturt University’s world rank is equal 79, University of Canberra’s world rank is equal 92.

Access free masterclasses 

Hear from some of Australia’s most renowned academics as they discuss topics ranging from green hydrogen to circularity in the built environment, managing tourism for sustainability to global megatrends in food and fibre production by watching our free Study Australia masterclasses.

Search sustainability courses 

There are 43 quality assured universities in Australia to choose from and so much to explore! Start your journey to Australia today. Search for courses using our Course Search tool