Study with us

Study with us

The Department of Environmental Sciences strives to provide a learning experience that produces graduates who are creative, innovative and adaptable, who are willing to take on challenges and learn from those experiences.

We deliver a distinctive learning experience with active learning, field based programs and authentic assessment.

Students who study environmental sciences at Macquarie use Earth science, climate science, ecology, biology and chemistry to explore key biophysical systems and the impacts of human activity on those systems. Our students learn how to regulate and manage human activities to protect the environment for generations to come.

Our research and teaching is multidisciplinary (including science, sustainability and health) and incorporates a specific focus on environmental contaminants stored and transported in aerosols, dusts, ice, soils, sediments and water.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor of Environment

The Bachelor of Environment is firmly based in the scientific aspects of the environment, but also focuses on social science and socioeconomic issues related to environmental matters. Students become highly knowledgeable about how individuals, societies and governments can best navigate a path towards a healthy environment, and in turn towards economic and social prosperity.

As students learn to manage the environment and safeguard it for future generations, they contribute to finding the solution to key concerns of our time.

The Bachelor of Environment offers the development of a solid grounding in the fields of biology, climate science, environmental Earth science, environmental management and spatial information science. Students gain valuable skills relating to natural resource management and environmental management. They have opportunities to acquire field skills in a range of natural resource environments, complemented by laboratory training and professional exposure.

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Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science aims to inspire scientific innovations beyond imagination. This course offers the opportunity to major in one, or even two, areas that particularly interest the student, aimed at exploring the answer to a broad range of science questions.

The Bachelor of Science has a strong focus on practical work in the field and in our laboratories to enhance student skills and their problem-solving abilities. It allows the combination of the study of science with arts, commerce, education, law and many other disciplines. Our modern laboratories offer exposure to the latest instrumentation and tools. Internationally recognised researchers teach the most up-to-date scientific knowledge.

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Our 3-year undergraduate programs are taught predominantly within the Bachelor of Environment and Bachelor of Science. Our units and majors also contribute to a range of other programs both within the Faculty of Science and Engineering and in other Faculties of the University. These include the Bachelor of Archaeology, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Marine Science.

We currently offer four majors:

  • Climate Science
  • Environmental Earth Science
  • Environmental Management
  • Spatial Information Science

Our programs contain significant fieldwork where students apply their knowledge in real environments. We are also committed to work-integrated learning, and many of our PACE (Professional and Community Engagement) units work closely with industry partners.

Postgraduate Study

Master of Environment

The Master of Environment is a multidisciplinary program directed towards understanding and responding to the issues emerging around human-environment interactions. Students gain skills and knowledge regarding the social and biophysical drivers of environmental change and will be trained to seek solutions. Access to government and industry linkages is promoted to students via guest lectures, case studies and research projects.

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Master of Sustainable Development

This course helps students to develop practical skills so that they are equipped to effect changes towards sustainable development. Development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth’s life support system on which the welfare of current and future generations depend. Students have the option to develop capabilities in a diverse range of areas including the environment, international politics and organisational management.

Key features of the program include:

  • a focus on change-oriented processes for sustainable development; including organisational change, education and capacity building, and strategic planning.
  • opportunities to undertake a practical component either as work experience, consultancy practice or research.
  • the opportunity to study some units from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) if students wish to work in organisational sustainability.

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Graduate Diploma of Environment

The Graduate Diploma of Environment introduces students to core skills and knowledge needed to address environmental challenges. The program provides an introduction to environmental studies for students coming from non-cognate backgrounds and provides access to Macquarie's wide range of advanced environmental units. Students with relevant environmental qualifications can apply for a shortened program which allows them to focus in on the subjects of most interest to them. The program is flexible and provides access to subjects in the fields of environmental science, environmental management, sustainable development, geography and climate change. Students with sufficient grades can articulate with full credit from this award to the Master of Environment.

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Graduate Diploma of Sustainable Development

The Graduate Diploma Sustainable Development degree aims to develop skills to support working with organisations or communities to innovate, encourage new thinking, new processes, and change management towards more sustainable practice. Sustainability is increasingly being integrated into all sectors and at all levels. The multidisciplinary nature of sustainable development requires skills in synthesis and integration from multiple disciplines. The Graduate Diploma provides an opportunity to broaden the capability to work with different disciplinary perspectives to address practical problems and to engage people in determining the future they want.

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The department has a long history of welcoming students seeking a career change or seeking to integrate environmental knowledge into their chosen fields. The Master of Environment and Master of Sustainable Development are two-year programs designed for students who have Bachelor degrees but are being introduced to environmental issues at an academic level for the first time.

Both offer Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma options.

We also convene units for related programs managed by the Department of Biological Sciences under the Master of Marine Science and Management.

Higher Degree Research

Higher Degree Research Students


Michael Ackah

Thesis: Dynamics of soil and sediment contamination by metals and metalloids in leachates generated from e-waste recycling sites and municipal solid waste landfill sites

Bethany Alexander

Thesis: Factors contributing to scientific impact in environmental decision making

Avianto Amri

Thesis: A cross-cultural investigation of child-centred disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in Indonesia and Australia

Ernest Frimpong Asamoah

Thesis: Integrating WTP into a spatially explicit policy model and land use change analysis

Samuel Asumadu-Sarkodie

Thesis: Reducing the Carbon-Footprint of Agricultural Commodities

Adijat Awoniran

Thesis: Sequenced permeable reactive barrier "treatment trains" to remediate mine waters contaminated with mixed inorganic and organic components

Mary Bonich

Thesis: An exploratory study of community-driven 'emergent' sustainability in the Murray Darling Basin

Annette Burke

Thesis: Australia- Wide ebb-tidal delta evolution

Supervisor: Dr Michael Chang

Ivana Cavlina TomaĊĦevic

Thesis: Weather patterns for wildfires in Croatia and Australia: comparison study and development of short-range forecast model

Supervisor: Dr Kevin Cheung

Xin Cheng

Thesis: Modelling environment and poverty for sustainable development

Grace Cheung

Thesis: Energy economics and investment decision-making: An analysis of energy systems transformation

Kellie Cook

Thesis: Understanding the role of Australia in the global cycling of mercury

Patrick Cooke

Thesis: Socio-cultural investigations of prehistoric Aboriginal dispersal of large-seeded rainforest trees on the Australian east coast

Supervisor: Dr Emilie Ens

Nicole Cormier

Thesis: Restoration of soil development processes in mangrove forests: a comparison of networks and policies

Lucky De Silva

Thesis: Medium resolution hyperspectral remote sensing & geographic information systems in the management of native vegetation and invasive weed species

Supervisor: Dr Michael Chang

Israel Doyi

Thesis: Air Quality and its Impact on Health: Focus on Particulate Matter

Alaa El-Gendawy

Thesis: A GIS-based Model for Cost-Benefit Analysis of Urban Heat Islands Mitigation and Adaptation: towards Climate Change Resilient Cities

Bret Ericson

Thesis: Lead (Pb) Contamination in Low and Middle-Income Countries: Exposures, Outcomes and Mitigation

Wendy Evans

Thesis: Value of Green Infrastructure in Sydney's North: Community and Policy Perspectives

Thomas Fellowes

Thesis: Influence of Geological Setting on Embayed Beach Geomorphology, Storm Erosion and Recovery

Supervisor: Dr Paul Hesse

Luisa Fontoura

Thesis: The macroecology of reef fish interactions: a global comparison over biogeographic regions

Supervisor: Dr Maina Mbui

Victoria Graham

Thesis: Identify cost-effective strategies for reducing forest-based carbon emissions in Southeast Asia

Supervisor: Dr Michael Chang

Bradley Graves

Thesis: Assessing environmental conditions in wetlands of arid and semi-arid Australia

Supervisor: Dr Tim Ralph

Aliya Gul

Thesis: Role of emerging marketing channels on farmer's welfare in Pakistan

Supervisor: Dr Ram Ranjan

Eva Gyamfi

Thesis: Leachates from landfills in Accra, Ghana: Characterisation, threat to the environment and management

Jing He

Thesis: Utilization and recycling of Heavy-metal-contaminated plant biomass

Behnam Hosseini Dastjerdi

Thesis: Environmental and economic lifecycle assessment of different MSW management scenarios in Australia: an ISWM approach

Sayka Jahan

Thesis: Modeling Energy Use and Emissions from Australian Shipping: Application of the Ship Traffic, Energy, and Environment Model

Long Ji

Thesis: Co2 Sequestation by direct mineralisation in aqueus system using fly ash from Chinese and Australian coal

Kanchan Joshi

Thesis: An experimental analysis of higher order risk preferences and collective choices of farmers from water-stressed regions of West Bengal and Maharashtra, India

Supervisor: Dr Ram Ranjan

Armin Kavehei

Thesis: Specifying the impacted area near abandoned mines

Sana Khan

Thesis: Analysis of river sensitivity for setting expectations of geomorphic adjustment for river management- forecasting future scenarios

Ravinder Kumar

Thesis: Development of microporous cobalt oxide nanorods as a cathode catalyst in air-cathode microbial fuel cells

Zacchary Larkin

Thesis: Floodplain wetland geomorphology and avulsion in drylands

Marcelle Lock

Thesis: The essentiality of Essential Biodiversity Variables: Implementation in national nature policies

Julien Lubeek

Thesis: Determining the cause of Gigantopithecus blackis demise using dental microwear, micromorphology and luminescence dating

Katrina MacSween

Thesis: Event-based Interstitial Release of Mercury from Natural Substrates

Damien McCarthy

Thesis: Remediation of Mercury Polluted Soils

Chuanping Meng

Thesis: Source assessment of fine carbonaceous aerosols in urban Sydney

Simon Mould

Thesis: Investigating Approaches to Communicating Geomorphology for Improved Environmental Management and Public Engagement

Quoc Cuong Nguyen

Thesis: Management of Coastal Erosion for Vietnam Centre Coast

Asuramuni Perera

Thesis: "Green remediation"- finding phytoremediation plants in derelict base metal mines

Megan Powell

Thesis: Local and global drivers: understanding change in the wetland ecosystems of NSW

Shahriar Rahman

Thesis: Design and Development of BCI based Assistant Robot using Deep Belief Networks and Fuzzy Classification Techniques

Supervisor: Dr Michael Chang

Shaina Russell

Thesis: Gender in conservation: strengthening the role of Indigenous women in conservation and community leadership using a case study from Ngukurr, South-east Arnhem Land, Australia

Supervisor: Dr Emilie Ens

Khushbu Salian

Thesis: Environmental assessment of iron and steel making industries

Sara Shaeri Karimi

Thesis: Environmental flows in rivers with the emphasis on ecological aspects

Neda Sharifi Soltani

Thesis: Measuring and evaluating the risk of harm from contaminants of concern in household dust

Samuel Shumack

Thesis: Climate, Land Use, Vegetation Cover and Aeolian Geomorphology in Australia's Drylands

Supervisor: Dr Paul Hesse
Emma Singh

Thesis: Modelling the impact of lifeline infrastructure failure during natural hazard events

Daniel Sloane

Thesis: A Two-Way Investigation of Melaleuca Dieback

Supervisor: Dr Emilie Ens

Heather Stevens

Thesis: Are We Hot And Bothered? The Relationship Between Crime And Temperature In A Warming Climate

Carl Tippler

Thesis: Examination of urbanisation and impervious surfaces and its influence on stream ecology and water chemistry in the Georges River catchment

Haftom Weldekidan

Thesis: Production of fuels and chemicals from a solar driven pyrolysis of agricultural wastes

Huan Xiao

Thesis: Nanofiltration for heavy metal removal in wastewater treatment

Prabhakar Yadav

Thesis: Implementing Sustainability with Off-Grid Solar Power in India: Policies and Governance for Rural Energy Transformation

Sara Yasipourtehrani

Thesis: Investigation of Thermal Properties of Blast Furnace Slag to Improve Process Energy Efficiency

Neda Yousefi

Thesis: Assessing and Modeling Impacts of Erosion and Sedimentation in Unstable Alluvial Channels

Supervisor: Dr Tim Ralph

Xiaoteng Zhou

Thesis: Soil-plant transfer characteristics of heavy metals in Traditional Chinese medicine

Higher Degree Research Options

As a higher degree research candidate at Macquarie, you’ll be encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach to address contemporary environmental questions, many of which intersect with other fields. Using this approach, your research will help find the answers to questions yet to be asked, and solve the big environmental problems that matter to business and society.

The Department of Environmental Sciences at Macquarie University provides two research options, through either the Master of Research, or the PhD program.

The Master of Research is a two-year training program which begins with advanced coursework in year 1, through to intensive research in year 2.

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A PhD in Environmental Science at Macquarie University involves extensive research alongside some of the world’s best scholars in state of the art research facilities.

Find out more about the Master of Research and PhD programs at Macquarie University.

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Research students in the Department of Environmental Sciences have the opportunity to work with academics at the forefront of their fields. From research into tropical cyclones, toxic dust and natural hazards to Antarctic contamination and invasive species, Macquarie’s environmental sciences researchers operate at the interdisciplinary interface between environmental and Earth sciences, ecology, and social and policy implications. We undertake cross-departmental and cross-institutional collaborative research with colleagues in the fields of biology, climate science, Earth system sciences and geochronology.

There are a variety of projects available through the Department of Environmental Sciences - you can find out what they are, and when the deadlines are by clicking here!

Generous scholarship schemes are available for applicants with proven research experience and excellent potential. The department conducts and promotes interdisciplinary research in a wide variety of environmental sciences covering:

  • environmental management,
  • physical geography,
  • environmental geoscience,
  • environmental quality,
  • climate science,
  • spatial information science, and
  • other related natural and physical sciences.

The MRes project booklet is a great way for master’s and PhD students to identify potential supervisors as well as to see some of the exciting scientific research being conducted in our department. The project booklet provides a list of potential research projects for master’s students to undertake during their year two thesis work. Note that students are not limited only to booklet projects and can design their own project with their supervisor.

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