Warning! There have been changes to the course - please refer to the transition information
Bachelor of Arts (Sustainable Development)
Help communities to help themselves
Assess environmental, economic and community needs by examining sustainability transition, overseas aid, resource access and climate change. Integrate theory and practice for employment with NGOs, governments and the resources sector.
Australian Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
Subjects may require attendance
- 12 Feb 23
- 14 May 23
- 13 Aug 23
- 12 Nov 23
This research-based university in Perth has a strong interdisciplinary focus and a reputation for outstanding teaching and ground-breaking research. With more than 23,000 students and 2,000 staff from over 90 countries, and campuses in Dubai and Singapore, Murdoch embraces free thinking, shared ideas and knowledge to make a difference, and Open Universities Australia is certainly part of that.
Learn more about Murdoch.
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Our student advisors are here to guide you with:
- Enrolling and eligibility
- Fee and loan information
- Credit and recognition for prior learning
At the completion of this degree students will be able to:
- Demonstrate substantive knowledge of the history and evolution of sustainable development thinking and practice.
- Develop and manage sustainable development projects of increasing complexity, working both independently and collaboratively.
- Construct compelling arguments that support change-making for sustainability.
- Formulate clear and persuasive written and spoken communication for community and professional audiences, using a range of appropriate styles and formats.
- Engage with complex and often controversial sustainability issues in ways that are respectful, collaborative, ethical, and interdisciplinary.
- Apply a wide range of sustainable development principles and practices at the local, regional and global levels.
There are increasing employment opportunities for graduates who are knowledgeable, skilled and passionate about sustainable development, at federal, state and local government, in non-government organisations, international agencies, corporations, local business and the media.
Learn how to turn your passion for sustainability into a rewarding career where you can make a difference within communities and regions, in Australia and overseas.
Higher education via OUA
Successful completion of 2 subjects at Open Universities Australia (OUA), or an Australian University.
Transferring from another degree or university
If you have successfully completed university studies equivalent to at least 2 subjects (6 Murdoch credit points) you can apply to transfer to Murdoch University using your previous studies.
For all other minimum entry requirements and pathways, please refer to the course you are interested in on https://search.murdoch.edu.au/s/search.html?collection=mu-course-search.
School leavers gain an ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) from four degree subjects completed during Year 12, or OP (Overall Positions) in Queensland.
To apply to Murdoch University after Year 12, you must achieve English competency and have achieved your WA Certificate of Education (WACE) or its interstate equivalent along with the ATAR (or OP) relevant for your chosen degree.
An ATAR of 70.00 or higher (or a Queensland Overall Position of 14 or less) is required for admission to a Commonwealth Support Place in this degree.
If you have successfully completed a Certificate IV or higher you can apply for admission into a Commonwealth Support Place.
Work and Life
- Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT)
- STAT is a national test for mature age people designed to assess aptitude for learning in a tertiary environment. It is not a test of your knowledge on specific academic subjects. It is recognised in all Australian states. You must achieve a minimum of 140 in the Written English and 135 in the Qualitative or Multiple Choice sections of the STAT to gain entry to Murdoch.
- Completed secondary education more than two years ago
- Enabling Programs
- STAT preparation course - Applicant needs to sit the STAT after the course is completed.
- Murdoch University OnTrack / OnTrack Sprint / FlexiTrack - If you have successfully completed Murdoch University's OnTrack or Flexitrack program you can apply for admission into a Commonwealth Support Place. Details are available at http://www.murdoch.edu.au/OnTrack/
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre - http://www.murdoch.edu.au/Kulbardi/
- International Students - http://www.murdoch.edu.au/study/how-to-apply
- For further admission information about this degree, please refer to Murdoch Admission Information - Arts
English Proficiency Requirements
To demonstrate English language competency you will need a scaled mark of at least 50 in ATAR English, Literature or English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD).
Proof of citizenship is not required for admission; however, it is required for access to Higher Education Loan Programs (HELP). Please upload a scanned copy of your birth certificate or Australian passport or citizenship certificate along with your application.
Find out if you are eligible and apply at https://www.murdoch.edu.au/study/courses/undergraduate-courses/recognition-of-prior-learning.
This course aims to train the next generation of sustainability leaders for world-changing work in Australia and overseas. Students explore the environmental, economic, social and cultural dimensions of sustainability, and develop a wide range of much-needed green skills. Areas covered include urban and rural sustainability, sustainability ethics and economics, and sustainable lifestyles and behaviour change. The emphasis is on giving students the sustainability expertise needed to ‘make a difference’ within communities and regions and at the global level.
Recommended Study Pattern
To get the most from this degree, students are recommended to follow these steps:
- ART100 Communication and Persuasion (3cp) - required
- ART101 Coming into Community (6cp) - core elective
- SUS100 Introduction to Sustainable Development (3cp) - required
- COD125 Introduction to Community Development (3cp) - required
- Complete at least 3 subjects (9cp) of Level 1 General Electives from any OUA subject.
- ART200 The Power of Perfect Text: Writing for Professional Contexts (3cp) - core elective
- ART208 Presenting in Public: Writing and Performing for Professional Contexts (3cp) - core elective
- SUS203 Sustainability, Ecology and Communities (3cp) - required
- SUS207 Overseas Aid and International Development (3cp) - required
- ENV245 Global and Regional Sustainability (3cp) - required
- MSP200 Building Enterprise Skills (3cp) - core elective
- Complete at least 3 subjects (9cp) of Level 2 or 3 General Electives from any OUA subject.
- SUS301 Resilient Regions: Sustainability in Practice (3cp) - required
- SUS305 Economics of Sustainability (3cp) - required
- SUS310 Sustainable Urban Communities (3cp) - required
- Choose 1 of the core subjects below:
- ART303 Research Project (3cp) OR
- COD303 Preparing for Professional Community Practice (3cp)
- Complete 4 subjects (12cp) of Level 2 or 3 General Electives from any OUA subject.
To qualify for the Murdoch University Bachelor of Arts (Community Development) students must complete 72 credit points (24 subjects). This degree is structured around the following key elements:
- Required Degree Subjects (Core) 12 credit points.
- Required Major Subjects (Major) 24 credit points.
- General Elective Subjects (Options) 36 credit points.
Murdoch’s degree structures combine all the required elements to make a student knowledgeable, experienced, confident and successful within a chosen career. Each level of an undergraduate degree requires 24 credit points, the equivalent of a year of full-time study.
Choose your subjects
Options (General Electives) – 12 subjects (36 credit points)
The number of electives undertaken at each level varies depending on selection of core electives.
- Complete at least 3 subjects (9 credit points) of Level 1 General Electives from any OUA subjects
- Complete 9 subjects (27 credit points) of Level 2 points or 3 General Electives from any OUA subjects.
Select from any subjects offered by OUA, subject to individual subject prerequisites. Students who are considering a second major are advised to consider using General Elective points (from Murdoch offerings) to meet the requirements of a second major.
Students are recommended to Register with Murdoch University before starting their Level 2 subjects to receive enrolment advice.
A fee of $250 is payable on registration.
To obtain an Application for Registration Form, please download the form from this website:
This program has undergone a major structure change in 2023.
The Arts courses at Murdoch are being reformed under a vision for future-facing program design, improved reputation and impact, increased staff and student engagement, and economic sustainability.
As approved changes to core units include increasing the number of options, students will not be disadvantaged. Any student who has started studying prior to 2023 will have existing core/spine units credited.
Please refer to this Transition Plan (PDF) for more information.
Academic Chair for Sustainable Development major:
Mr Allan Johnstone - A.Johnstone@murdoch.edu.au / Tel: +61 8 93606278
You can apply direct through Open Universities Australia.
Once you've checked your eligibility, apply and enrol for this degree following the steps. This degree also allows you to get started with Open access.
Select ‘Apply now’
Choose subjects to begin your application. You can choose 1 or 2 subjects to start.
Choose how you want to start
You can apply for the full degree or if you want to start with Open access, enrol into the subjects using the ‘Single subjects’ option.
You can apply for the degree later and the subjects may be credited towards the degree.
Complete your details
Provide your details and select a funding option. You can pay up-front or apply for government funding in your application.
We're here to help answer your questions. Our friendly student advisors provide 7 day support.
This degree offers Open access entry, exclusive to Open Universities Australia.
There’s more than one way to get a degree. Open access allows you to start with single subjects as a way into eligible degrees, regardless of your study history.
Enrol into and complete the required Open access subjects to earn entry in this degree. Most subjects have no entry requirements, are fully government funded (if you’re eligible) and may be credited when you start the degree.
The best part? You can enrol and get started with single subjects now.