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ECO3030 Sustainable Economies

Semester 2, 2023 Online
Units : 1
School or Department : School of Business
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 24 September 2023


Course Coordinator: Khorshed Alam


The tremendous improvements in our standards of living during the twentieth century are the fruits of economic growth. However, when considering environmental and other costs associated with growth, the question being raised is: are there limits to economic growth? Many believe that this is not an either/or choice; rather a balance between environment and development is both possible and is happening. Countries do not have to abandon their development potentials to preserve the environment. In fact economic development is essential to maintaining our standards of living. The notion of sustainable economies allows economic development not based on the exploitation of natural resources and the environment in a way that cannot be sustained. Policies and strategies can be designed and implemented to improve economic efficiency, and thus promote economic development, minimise adverse environmental effects and internalise the externalities into the decision making process.

This course introduces students to a way of thinking about environmental problems and achieving sustainable economic development, based on economic principles. The course provides a background to the study of resource and environmental economics by putting it in the context of economy-environment interdependence and sustainability concerns, and the fundamental characteristics of an economic approach to environmental problems and their assessment. Both macro and microeconomic principles and their application are covered, as is the essence of economic perspectives. Both regulatory and market-based approaches are explored in an effort to protect natural resources and improve environmental quality. General emphasis is placed upon the improvement of economic welfare through the application of economic principles in the search for sustainable economic development.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. explain the use of economic principles and policies in the achievement of sustainable economies;
  2. understand the basic economic concepts and the analytical tools for dealing with environmental and natural resource issues and demonstrate problem-solving skills through their targeted application;
  3. understand the working and effects of the price system, regulatory and market-based incentives, and economic valuation, impact assessment and appraisal methods;
  4. discuss the conditions for and requirements of sustainable economies;
  5. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills through the comprehension, critical analysis and application of set texts to serve a designated purpose;
  6. demonstrate written communication skills using appropriate conventions and structure.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to sustainable development and environmental economics 20.00
2. Modelling the market process 10.00
3. Requirements of sustainability: sustainable management of natural resources 20.00
4. Assessing sustainability: economic analysis of environmental mitigation strategies 20.00
5. Assessing sustainability: macroeconomic impacts 10.00
6. Economic growth, productivity and the environment 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Harris, JM & Roach, B 2021, Environmental and natural resource economics: a contemporary approach, 5th edn, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxford.
We will provide electronic copies of articles and chapters of books from outside of the prescribed text which you will need to read. These are referenced in each module.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Written Essay No 40
Assignments Written Critique (written) No 10 1,2,3,4,5,6
Examinations Non-invigilated Time limited online examinatn No 50 1,2,3,4,5,6
Date printed 24 September 2023