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Lismore Session 1 Session 1
National Marine Science Centre Coffs Harbour Session 1 Session 1
Online Session 1 Session 1

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Pre-requisites

96 credit points in any SCU unit

Unit aim

Explores the nature of economics as relevant to sustainable development. This involves learning from the trappings of historical economic paradigms and engaging with economic instruments/methods as a way of managing and preventing environmental degradation. This unit engages with topical issues such as population, climate change and water scarcity to apply economic rationale to your understanding of these issues using interactive tutorial workshops as a learning tool.

Unit content

  • Introduction to ecological economics: what is it and why it matters for sustainable development?
  • Market systems: supply, demand and production
  • Market failure: why pollution, climate change and poverty exist
  • Ecosystem goods and services and environmental accounting
  • Valuing the environment: an overview of the techniques and theories
  • Changing behaviour: using economic instruments in environmental management
  • Economic development and environmental decision making
  • Economics and agriculture: feeding the world and conserving our land
  • Managing natural resource use: scarcity, abundance and renewables
  • The economics of water resources management

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 demonstrate understanding of the nature of the economic problem of scarcity and the implications this will have for resource allocation Knowledge of a discipline
2 analyse the relationship between economic activity and the natural environment and the implications for sustainable development Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
3 critically appreciate the difference between environmental economics and ecological economics Creativity Knowledge of a discipline Communication and social skills
4 discuss the importance of interdisciplinary sciences and identify the role of economics in resolving environmental issues Creativity Knowledge of a discipline Communication and social skills
5 demonstrate presentation and discussion skills as relevant to environmental consulting, research and making a positive impact. Creativity Knowledge of a discipline Communication and social skills

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate understanding of the nature of the economic problem of scarcity and the implications this will have for resource allocation
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. analyse the relationship between economic activity and the natural environment and the implications for sustainable development
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. critically appreciate the difference between environmental economics and ecological economics
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA6: Communication and social skills
  4. discuss the importance of interdisciplinary sciences and identify the role of economics in resolving environmental issues
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA6: Communication and social skills
  5. demonstrate presentation and discussion skills as relevant to environmental consulting, research and making a positive impact.
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA6: Communication and social skills

Prescribed texts

  • Asafu-Adjaye, J, 2005, Environmental Economics for Non-Economists. ISBN: 981-256-123-4.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.