Sustainable Living

The climate is changing, and we all have a role to play in creating a more sustainable future.

Explore our courses

Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living

Learn practical skills

Learn practical ways to improve sustainability in your home and the community.

Flexible delivery

Offered fully online, so you can follow your passion for sustainable living in your own community.

100% HECS fee waiver available

Start studying in 2023 without tuition fees*.

Follow your passion in sustainable living

The Undergraduate Certificate consists of four units. To complete the undergraduate certificate, you will study a core unit, Communicating Sustainability, along with three units of your choice. You can choose to study just one unit at a time, up to a total of four for full time study.

The units you can choose from include popular sustainability options such as Science of Gardening, Backyard Biodiversity and Introduction to Sustainable Design for Houses. In addition to the highlighted units below, a full list is available on the course page.

You should plan for around 10 hours of focused study a week per unit you are enrolled in. This includes time spent in lectures, tutorials, private study, and assessment tasks. You can study as little as one unit at a time.

*Domestic students commencing the Undergraduate Certificate in Semester 1 2023 may be eligible to receive a 100% HECS fee waiver.  HECS fee waivers will be automatically applied on enrolment.

Explore the history and literature of sustainability, including the formation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. You’ll develop the skills to think critically about sustainability in your own life and community. Plus, you’ll develop the research and communication skills to implement sustainability solutions in your community. This is a compulsory core unit.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 8 hours

Science of Gardening is for everyone, from avid green thumbs with a lifetime of experience to those planting their first seedling. In this unit, you’ll learn the science behind traditional and modern gardening techniques, and this will change the way you see your plants, and change the way you garden.

Sustainable living starts at home, so in this unit you’ll learn the science behind traditional and modern gardening techniques, and this will change the way you see your plants, and change the way you garden.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 5-7 hours

You will explore the roles of climate and soils in shaping the types of plants that grow in different regions; the origins of domesticated plants; and the roles of predators, pathogens, mutualists and symbionts in extending or limiting plant growth.

Science of Gardening 2 will equip you with the knowledge to make more informed decisions about your garden design and will heighten your appreciation of your natural environment.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 7-10 hours

Backyard Biodiversity is for everyone; from people keen to deepen their understanding of the wildlife in their local area, to those ready to convert their backyard into a biodiverse haven, and people just interested in coexisting more sustainably with life on earth.

Some of the important and interesting questions we cover in this unit include: what is biodiversity, and how does it impact our lives? How are animals classified into different groups, and how can that knowledge help us identify backyard animals? What are the best observation techniques for different types of animals, and which ones can you use in your own backyard? How can you attract the animals you want, while keeping your backyard, your family, your pets and the wildlife, safe? How can you help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals simply by increasing the biodiversity in your garden?

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 5-7 hours

Whether you’re looking at building, buying, renovating, or simply learning, smart housing design can have huge benefits for you and our planet. Learn about the environmental and human health impacts of using creative decision making in the design and renovation of houses.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 10 hours

As the world warms, wildfires are behaving in new, less predictable ways, which present fundamental challenges to our established methods of preventing, fighting and living with fire. And with increasing populations on the wildland-urban interface, we urgently need to find new solutions to these challenges.

Learn what causes fire and why wildfires behave the way they do, as well as how to evaluate your own level of fire risk. This unit was developed in consultation with members of the indigenous community and Tasmanian practitioners and UTAS Fire Centre (led by Professor David Bowman). It provides a holistic perspective on the scientific, social, economic and ethical issues inherent in moving towards a sustainable co-existence with wildfire.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 7-9 hours

Have you noticed the climate changing around you and want to learn more? Or do you want to better understand the science that predicts Earth’s future climate? Science of Climate Change provides an engaging entry into the subject.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 10 hours

Science of Fishing is for everyone; from people wanting to develop their skills and knowledge in fishing, those looking to enhance their recreational fishing experience, to those looking to contribute to a sustainable fishery.

Learning from experts from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, you will explore habits of different species based on their environment, learn about the variety of fishing gear and methods, and understand the science of fishing sustainably.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 8-10 hours

Become better prepared to deal with a variety of culturally challenging situations. Develop an appreciation of the personal and professional benefits that come from being more culturally aware and competent in increasingly diverse settings.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 5-10 hours

The challenge of ensuring adequate food production and equitable access to food is crucial and complex. In this unit, you’ll tackle important problems relating to global food security related to hunger, obesity, resources, poverty, population, justice, and sustainability.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 8-9 hours

Life on Earth has nearly been extinguished five times since the explosion of complex life some 550 million years ago. The causes of the five major events are debated. This unit will explore the science, governance and values relevant to the issue of mass extinction and human Earth shaping.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 6-9 hours

Do you want to participate in transformations for a better world and learn how you can make a difference? In this unit you will assess environmental, social, and economic implications, evaluate approaches to sustainability and analyse and communicate information to aid decision-making.

*Estimated weekly study for this unit is 8-10 hours

Build on your practical knowledge of sustainable design for houses, expanding your thinking to houses within landscapes - both natural and constructed - and interacting with climate, biodiversity, human health and urban and regional food systems.

Explore pathways to reduce the most extreme effects of climate change, including international agreements on reduction of greenhouse gases and other mitigation measures such as carbon sequestration and drawdown and alternative energy sources.

Further study options

After completing the Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living, you can continue your studies into the Diploma of Sustainable Living, where you can receive credit for units already studied. This means you only need to study an additional four units to graduate with the Diploma.

Find out more

Completing a Diploma in Sustainable Living and looking for your next step? Study a Bachelor of Science with a major in sustainability . For more information please visit Bachelor of Science.

To see a full list of units available in the Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living, please view the course page.

Find out more about what you'll study, entry requirements, fees and scholarships - and to apply.

Visit the course page

Career opportunities

Upon completing your Undergraduate Certificate of Sustainable Living, you will possess new skills, outlooks on living, and a deeper understanding of sustainability in an ever changing world which will complement your existing career direction.

Careers relating to Sustainable Living are growing across many industries. Here are some of the top careers projected to grow in the next five years:^

7.7%

Environmental Scientists

Predicted job growth to 2025

8.6%

Agricultural, Medical and Science Technicians

Predicted job growth to 2025

Strong

Environmental Manager:
Future Demand

National Skills Commission - 2021 Skills Priority List (June 2021)

Where to from here? Further study options for those interested in sustainability.

Completing an Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainable Living and looking for your next step? Develop the skills to build a better future and continue your passion for sustainability and study the Diploma of Sustainable Living. You will gain full credit from all units studying in the Undergraduate Certificate meaning you only need to study an additional four out of eight units to graduate.

^ National Skills Commission five year projections from November 2020 to November 2025.

Study experience

Learning to live sustainably can enrich both your life and your career

“The flexibility to choose from a really diverse selection of subjects in the Diploma means I’ve studied probability theory, gardening, bushfire science and journalism, all within the one study program".

Sustainability at the University of Tasmania

In 2022, the University of Tasmania was recognised as the world's leading university on United Nations Sustainability Goal #13 Climate Action by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

The University was also recognised as the 'Sustainability Institute of the Year' at the Green Gown Awards Australasia 2021, presented by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability.

This category recognises sustained, whole-institution commitment and impact to becoming a sustainable organisation. This video explores some of the initiatives which are contributing to the University’s holistic approach to sustainability.

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