Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2017 Contents ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES 119
Bear in mind too that most of these specialisations are available
through postgraduate study, which can be completed after a more
general bachelor degree.
Be sure to conduct thorough research into what each
specialisation involves and the subjects offered, as well as how
they are structured and delivered — they may be practical or
theory based, which can vary between institutions. This will help
you determine whether you will like the course itself, rather than
just the idea of its content. You should also try to research new
areas that are developing, as there could be future employment
demand, even if these areas are not well known now.
Where to study
New study areas are developing constantly, and these are
reflected in the diverse range of education choices. The
prominence of issues such as resource management and climate
change has also resulted in extra research funding for many
Cut-offs and prerequisites vary according to the specialisation
and institution, but this is an easy field to get into overall. To
compare entry difficulty at different institutions, see the ‘How
tough is it to get in?’ tables in Section 4.
FOR FURTHER HELP...
To compare the pros and cons of environmental studies with
other fields of study, see the table on page 68 and institution
profiles in Section 4.
For more on jobs and careers in this field, see The Good
Careers Guide website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au.
For ratings of postgraduate environmental studies courses,
see The Good Universities Guide website at
Alice — Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours)
Why did you choose to study
I’ve always been fascinated with the
world around me. I grew up on a farm,
which allowed me to be close to nature,
watching the changes in seasons
throughout the year. I also loved studying
biology and geography at high school, so
I knew environmental studies was the right fit for me.
What was the best thing about your course?
The diversity. First and second year allowed me to study
various science disciplines from chemistry and geology to
atmospheric sciences and resource management. Third and
fourth year allowed me to focus on the disciplines I excelled in
and enjoyed. There were also many field trips, which gave me
a practical understanding of the theory we studied.
What was the worst thing about your course?
The worst thing was working by myself in the laboratory for
three months during my honours year. It got quite tiring being
by myself all day, but luckily I had a radio to keep me
company. The cold morning lectures probably weren’t my
favourite aspect either!
What did your course involve?
The course involved approximately 20 to 25 contact hours per
week, which included practical laboratory sessions, group
tutorials and theory lectures.
Have you found work in your field?
I have been working as an environmental scientist in private
consultancy firms since graduation.
Mainly, I have worked on contaminated site assessments.
There is a component of fieldwork with nearly every job,
which may include a site walk-over, soil sampling, and
groundwater installation and sampling. Once the risks have
been identified, the site may require remediation to ensure it
is suitable for its intended use. My job also involves office
work, such as preparation of reports and general job
management (invoicing and attending meetings, for
example). I really enjoy the mix of fieldwork and office work.
What advice would you give to students considering
studying environmental studies?
My course was relatively intensive, with many assessment
tasks adding to the final subject scores. If you are organised,
you will gain more from your studies and will build good habits
for when you move into full-time work. I would also
recommend completing an internship or work experience
during the summer holidays. You may find that you like
working in a field that you may have overlooked during your
study. Review the job market early, as you may find that there
are limited roles in your preferred field. Look at a potential
employer and think about where they could take you. Do they
have multiple offices that would allow you to travel? Is there
opportunity for promotion? Is there on-the-job training?
Have you undertaken further study?
I have not completed any further formal study, but I would like
to complete my masters in science at some stage. My
employers have given me opportunities to complete
on-the-job training, and I’ve also had the opportunity to attend
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