ENVMGT 741 : Social Change for Sustainability


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores the concept of sustainability through different theoretical frameworks and how social and environmental movements have mobilised around this concept over time. Critically interrogates what is sustainable, what is social change, and how can social change be sustainable in a global economy. Draws on case studies of current environmental issues and associated popular social movements.

Course Overview

This course focuses on the role that social and environmental movements play in shaping our response to sustainability challenges. Students will gain an appreciation of the diversity of strategies and tactics used by social and environmental movements to shift society towards more sustainable outcomes. We will examine sustainability-focused change initiatives at a range of scales, including: individual behaviour change programs; initiatives to make corporations more sustainable; movements aimed at national or international policy change; and broader efforts to re-define our economic and governance systems. Case studies of sustainability movements will be drawn from New Zealand and abroad.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify core concepts of sustainability, and understand the ways the concept has been mobilised by different groups in society to influence sustainability outcomes. (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  2. Describe the role that social and environmental movements have played in shaping sustainability outcomes. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  3. Recognise, analyse and evaluate the different strategies and tactics movements use to enact social change. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Appreciate the use of research as a tool for understanding social change, and understand debates about the role of researchers as change agents (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  5. Be able to represent this learning through clear and confident oral and written communication (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Reflections 15% Individual Coursework
Essay 30% Individual Coursework
Presentation 15% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam


The School of Environment (ENV) Tuākana Programme focuses on encouraging Māori and Pacific students to achieve their full academic potential. Read more about the Science Faculty's Tuākana Programme here:  https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/science/study-with-us/maori-and-pacific-at-the-faculty/tuakana-programme.html. Māori and Pacific students are encouraged to contact Sonia Fonua (s.fonua@auckland.ac.nz) if you would like more information about joining the programme.

Special Requirements

No special requirements

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 24 hours of lectures, 48 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 48 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is expected at scheduled lectures.
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. Class discussions following lectures will not be recorded, but students will post reflections about the class discussions to Canvas each week.
  • The course will not include live online events.
  • Attendance on campus is not required for the exam. The exam will be run online via the Inspera Assessment portal.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled for standard weekly delivery.

Special advice for offshore students:
This course is available online to students resident offshore. The assessment and learning delivery mechanisms may differ from that presented in this Digital Course Outline. Please contact Georgia Piggot, the Course Coordinator, for further details at georgia.piggot@auckland.ac.nz.

Learning Resources

There is no assigned textbook for this class. Each week assigned articles will be posted to Canvas, and will be available as a Talis reading list. If you have any problems accessing course readings, please let the course coordinator know.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Learning continuity under different Covid Alert Levels: Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode. Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. Lectures and office hours will also have an on campus / in person option. Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 21/08/2021 09:07 p.m.