ENVMGT 741 : Social Change for Sustainability


2024 Semester Two (1245) (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 student-led course considers 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. Course content may include 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 redefine 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: People and Place
Capability 2: Sustainability
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism

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, 3 and 4)
  2. Facilitate compelling student-led presentations and activities regarding topics around sustainability challenges and solutions. (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  3. Understand and describe the role that social and environmental movements have played in shaping sustainability outcomes. (Capability 2, 3 and 4)
  4. Recognize, analyse and evaluate the different strategies and tactics movements use to enact social change. (Capability 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  5. Be able to represent this learning through clear and confident oral and written communication (Capability 6, 7 and 8)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Seminar activities 30% Individual Coursework
Student-led seminars 10% Group Coursework
Social change for sustainability individual component 30% Individual Examination
Social change for sustainability group component 20% Individual Coursework
Reflection 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Seminar activities
Student-led seminars
Social change for sustainability individual component
Social change for sustainability group component


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection) and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.Māori and Pacific's students are encouraged to contact Sonia Fonua (s.fonua@auckland.ac.nz) for information about the Tuākana programme.

Special Requirements

No special requirements

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course. For this course, there will be one 2 hour seminar weekly. For the 12 teaching weeks, this totals 24 hours. Since the course as a whole represents approximately 150 of study, that leaves a total of 126 hours across the semester for both group work and independent study.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is expected at scheduled lectures.
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. Class discussions following lectures will not be recorded.
  • The course will not include live online events.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled for standard weekly delivery.

Learning 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.

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 contact the course coordinator.

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.

Feedback from students in 2023 has informed the teaching approach and types of assessment for 2024. 

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 06/11/2023 08:40 a.m.