Courses & Units

Science and Policy for Energy Futures KGA319


This unit will equip students with an interdisciplinary understanding of energy systems. Its focus is on how science and policy are interacting to shape Australia’s energy futures. The Australian energy sector is experiencing a period of change, prompted by the availability of new energy technologies as well as new societal expectations, desires and behaviours. Learning will focus on how these changes are being initiated and governed through a range of organisations and institutions, including the state, corporations, community groups, and individual households. The interplay between expert knowledge and decision making will be analysed, with close attention to the politics of technical decision-making processes. This unit is taught collaboratively with input from the Tasmanian energy industry and government. Science and Policy for Energy Futures will be of interest to undergraduate students from Geography, Social Sciences, Engineering and Law.


Unit name Science and Policy for Energy Futures
Unit code KGA319
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 Professor Heather Lovell
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


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


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 22/7/2024 16/8/2024 9/9/2024 27/10/2024

* 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 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • describe the energy system in Australia in terms of its production, distribution and consumption, across both space and time.
  • synthesise information from a range of energy sector sources, including government, scientists, industry, and other stakeholders in order to articulate key issues at the science-policy interface.
  • evaluate a range of ethical, regulatory, economic and socio-political contexts as individuals and in teams in order to make recommendations about complex energy sector problems.
  • explain past, present and future processes that shape the Tasmanian energy sector in order to make integrated recommendations sensitive to the Tasmanian context.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.


Teaching Pattern

1 short lecture (pre-recorded) and 1 x 2-hour workshop per week, as well as independent learning; plus a 2-day intensive in Week 8.

AssessmentAT1: Research Brief topic choice & paragraph (5%)|AT2: Research Brief (25%)|AT3: Group Workshop Presentation (30%)|AT4: Position Paper (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.


Bridge, G., Barr, S., Bouzarovski, S., Bradshaw, M., Brown, E., Bulkeley, H. and

Walker, G., 2018. Energy and Society: A critical perspective. Routledge.


Pielke Jr, R.A., 2007. The Honest Broker: making sense of science in policy and

politics. Cambridge University Press.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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