TDENVF 100 : Our Environmental Futures: Te Taiao Tāngata


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Explores the complex relationships between environmental systems and humans. Working in teams, students examine environmental, social, economic and cultural perspectives in the real-world contexts of waitā (sea), waitī (freshwater) and whenua (land). Students will respond to environmental issues by recognising ora (wellbeing) and Ki Uta ki Tai (the interconnectedness of ecosystems) and develop a transdisciplinary mindset to tackle current and future environmental challenges.

Course Overview

If you want to make a real difference by working with others to design strategies that activate your imagination and creativity, leading towards more sustainable and just environmental futures, then this is the course for you.

Our Environmental Futures: Te Taiao Tāngata explores the complex relationships between environmental systems and humans and the impacts of human practices on these systems.  By exploring real world case studies you will learn skills and develop a mindset to work with others to tackle the complexity of the environmental challenges we face now and in the future.

This is a transdisciplinary course, which means you will collaborate with students from across disciplines and engage with wider community perspectives to address complex socio-environmental issues.  Complex environmental issues require these types of collaborations.  We welcome you to join us on this drive for transformative change in how we address environmental issues.

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
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of values in environmental contexts. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8)
  2. Analyse the interplay of different systems (environmental, social, cultural, economic) within a socio-environmental issue. (Capability 2, 3 and 4)
  3. Articulate a reimagined environmentally-just future using a case study. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
  4. Identify and explain the primary features of transdisciplinarity. (Capability 3)
  5. Collaborate effectively within a diverse team while engaged in discussion of a complex societal problem. (Capability 1, 6, 7 and 8)
  6. Apply one or more transdisciplinary approaches to address a complex societal problem. (Capability 1, 6, 7 and 8)
  7. Communicate effectively using at least two different channels (written, oral, or visual) to convey complex information. (Capability 6 and 7)
  8. Reflect on the use of transdisciplinary approaches for complex problem-solving. (Capability 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Creative Output 30% Group Coursework
Reflection and Analysis 20% Individual Coursework
Test and Quizzes 30% Individual Coursework
Engagement in studio activities 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Creative Output
Reflection and Analysis
Test and Quizzes
Engagement in studio activities


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

Key Topics

•    Ki uta ki Tai: From the mountains to the sea.
•    Te Tiriti o Waitangi and environmental contexts.
•    Values thinking: Exploring the role of values in environmental contexts.
•    Systems thinking:  The inter-connectedness of environmental and human systems.
•    Futures thinking:  Reimagining environmental possibilities.
•    Diverse perspectives in complex socio-environmental issues.
•    Collaborating with others when engaging in and communicating about complex environmental issues.

Case studies are a central component of the course teaching and learning.  These focus on complex socio-environmental issues.  The issues used in the course may change each year but could include for example some of the following: sea level rise and managed retreat; sustainable and regenerative agriculture; forestry practices and community impacts; sustainable packaging and use of plastics; kauri dieback, rāhui and biosecurity; urban waterways; new technologies for pest control; renewable energy production, marine reserves, among others.

Special Requirements

Engagement in studios is compulsory to pass this course. 

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 12 hours of lectures (plenary sessions), 22 hours of studios (11 x 2 hour studios), 44 hours of reading, viewing vidoes and other creative works and thinking about the content and 70 hours of work on assignments (individual and group) and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

This is a transdisciplinary course, which means you will get to engage with a diverse range of perspectives, from inside and outside your chosen discipline.   

A 2-hour studio session is timetabled weekly. This session involves small group work and is associated with practical tasks and skill development linked to assessment and learning outcomes.  Attendance at studio sessions is compulsory as these contain activities, teamwork and marks that contribute towards learning outcomes and assessment.

The course is taught in two streams.  Lectures, studios and course material are exactly the same for both streams.  You enrol in one stream according to which stream best suits your timetable.

At the end of the course you will engage in a course symposium to showcase your work and ideas to diverse audiences inside and outside the University.   You will learn more about this in the early weeks of the course.

  • Attendance is expected at scheduled plenary sessions, many of which are interactive.
  • Engagement in studios is compulsory.
  • Weekly plenary sessions will be available as recordings. However, where lectures involve workshop-style interactions the recordings will not capture the associated discussions.
  • Other learning activities including studios will not be available as recordings.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.
  • Course material will be available where possible on the course’s Canvas site.
  • Staff office hours will be available either in-person or via Zoom
  • There is no final exam – the course is 100% internally assessed.

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 set textbook for this course.  Readings will be provided via Talis and other resources are available on Canva

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.

We encourage and welcome student feedback

Class Reps are appointed for each stream.  During the course the class representatives in each stream can take feedback to the course coordinator and to the staff-student consultative committees.

Formative feedback will be conducted at mid semester and at the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through the University’s course evaluation. The lecturers and course co-ordinators value all feedback.
Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery during the course and also for future years.

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

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

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

Please note there is no final exam for this course.  This is 100% internally assessed.

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


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.

This information was correct on 6 November, 2023
Published on 08/11/2023 09:07 a.m.