Courses & Units

Political Ecologies of Development KGA308


Political ecology is a diverse area of study, professional practice and activism that integrates concerns about justice, sustainability and development. Political ecology seeks explanations of the root causes of and transformative responses to environmental problems. Analysing nature and society as one system and employing case studies from around the world, you will: investigate environmental concerns through questions about unequal social power; examine the interplay of politics and economics in relation to food, water and energy resources; unpack global power relations between ‘developed' (minority world) and 'developing' (majority world) societies; and chart actionable paths towards sustainable, equitable and decent futures. The skills of inquiry and knowledge you develop are applicable to careers in government, the private sector and civil society at the intersection of development and environment concerns.


Unit name Political Ecologies of Development
Unit code KGA308
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Coordinator Associate Professor Aidan Davison
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus Off-Campus International International Domestic Domestic


International students
Domestic students

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 11/7/2022 9/8/2022 29/8/2022 16/10/2022

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • inquire into questions of political ecology (i.e. social power in environmental systems) to develop integrated, evidence-based knowledge about justice, sustainability and development;
  • investigate the political ecology of energy, food and water resources in diverse places to identify root problems and transformative paths towards just and sustainable forms of development;
  • communicate political ecology insights through critical, reflective, dialogical, creative, persuasive and ethical forms of academic and professional writing and speaking.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
090309 $1,828.00 $858.00 not applicable $2,108.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



(25% level 200 KGA) or (25% level 200 in Social Science or Life Science or Environmental Science or Humanities or Law or Education or Design or Business)


Teaching Pattern

40 minute pre-recording (via MyLO), 75 minute seminar (on-campus and TBA) and 50 minute tutorial (on-campus and on-line) weekly


AssessmentTake Home Examination (25%)|Critical Inquiry Portfolio (40%)|Investigative Essay (35%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



The core of your learning in KGA308 is a required reading program, listed in the table below. The effort it takes will reward you. The program prepares you for seminars, tutorials and assessment tasks. Readings range from 20-40 pages a week and are 1/3 of the unit workload, or 3 hours a week. Read ONLY the pages indicated (some extracts are parts of chapters).

Why read?

From Week 2 onwards, readings are to be completed before seminars and tutorials (i.e., complete Week 2 readings before Week 2 classes). This pre-reading forms the basis for critical inquiry assignments, seminar and tutorial materials and discussions, and the exam.

Pre-readings are chosen to promote inquiry-based learning and be diverse in length, difficulty, perspective, authorship, style, and focus. Readings you find unfamiliar, difficult, or even objectional may benefit your learning the most. In this interdisciplinary unit, you are not expected to accumulate jargon – translate discipline-specific content of readings into terms that make sense to the focus of your degree, career, and aspirations.

How do I access readings?

Links to electronic copies of readings are provided in the weekly instructions in MyLO ‘Content’. You can also access readings via the Library Reading List


There is no required textbook. This text is recommended and available as an e-book in the library: Robbins, P. 2020. Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction, 3rd edn. Malden: Wiley Blackwell.

The UTas library holds many other relevant e-journals and ebooks.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.