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UNSW’s 2025 vision is to be among the 50-leading teaching-intensive universities worldwide, known for the most innovative developments in digital and face-to-face learning to improve educational quality and the student experience. As traditional industries, professions and career pathways are transformed and replaced by new, previously unimaginable ways of working, making and doing, UNSW is actively preparing students for jobs that do not yet exist.

UNSW has a diverse range of formal education programs that critically address issues of sustainability. By educating its students about sustainability, UNSW is arming our future leaders, scholars, workers, and professionals with the skills to tackle the sustainability challenges we will face in the future, as well as those that we face today.

In 2017:

There were approximately 20 student organisations related to environment and sustainability

Sustainability curriculum

All eight faculties at UNSW offer opportunities to undertake studies with a sustainability focus. Sustainability can be taught as a subject in its own right, but increasingly UNSW’s educators are embedding sustainability considerations into the fabric courses they develop.

Faculty of Art and Design

The Faculty of Art and Design is UNSW’s hub of experimentation and exploration in art and design, fostering collaboration across science, engineering, the humanities and social sciences.

Sustainability is embedded as a component of many courses with notable cases including:

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers students a licence to explore and address the social issues of sustainability. Key programs and courses include:

Business School

UNSW Business School has long recognised the importance of its role in sustainability and social responsibility and in 2015, and again in 2017, published its commitment in the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) Report.

Key programs, initiatives and courses from the Business School include:

Faculty of the Built Environment

Creating sustainable built environments that satisfy environmental, social and economic objectives requires critical thinking that considers the value systems and cultures that influence communities.

There is a growing body of principles and techniques to do this and most of the programs offered by the Built Environment have sustainability embedded into their courses. Key courses and programs include:

Faculty of Engineering

As the best engineering faculty in the country, the Faculty of Engineering lives up to its promise of solving tomorrow’s problems today. Engineers conceive, design and build the world around us and, as such, have a critical role in our sustainable future. It is no surprise that sustainability considerations are embedded into the majority of programs.

In addition to the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering, which offers two full degree and masters programs in photovoltaics and renewable energy engineering, the Faculty offers a degree in Environmental Engineering from the School of Environment and Civil Engineering. Numerous other sustainability courses are offered across all nine schools.

Faculty of Law

Most courses have a distinct human rights and social justice focus. Throughout their law degree, students are invited to participate in a range of activities that provide opportunities to engage with communities on issues of critical social and economic significance.

Key courses and programs include:

Faculty of Medicine

UNSW Medicine is committed to improving healthcare delivery and outcomes for every patient.

Key courses and programs include:

  • The Master of Public Health - UNSW Sydney is widely recognised as essential for a career in population health, including health promotion, primary health care, policy formulation, research, and management of health programs
  • Society and Health – explores the inter-relationships between the health of people and the environment in which they live. The major themes include the societal determinants of health, the diversity of society focusing both on culture, systems that provide health care and the relationship between health and human rights.

Faculty of Science

With a central part to play in understanding our impacts on the world around us, the Faculty of Science is at the forefront of sustainability education.

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Studies offers degree programs in Biology, Marine Science, Geology, Ecology, Earth Science, Paleontology, Geography, Climate Science and Environmental Management.

The Faculty also offers a Master of Environmental Management which provide students with the basis for the critical appreciation of environmental management frameworks and ‘environmental literacy’ in key disciplinary areas.