Vocational Graduate Certificate in Sustainability

Course description

The Vocational Graduate Certificate in Sustainability was developed to respond to a strong industry demand for staff with skills and knowledge in the field of sustainability. Knowledge and awareness of sustainability concepts and issues is on the increase in the public and private sectors of industry, government agencies and society. As a result, the demand for qualified sustainability graduates continues to rise.Swinburne’s sustainability program is designed for:

  • Individuals seeking to further their knowledge of sustainability by undertaking personal development to transform the way they live and work
  • Professionals working in an environmental/sustainable development team in a corporate environment 
  • Consultants seeking to extend their knowledge in the field of sustainability
  • Middle managers wishing to develop the sustainability profile of their company
  • Individuals wanting to play an educational or advisory role in the field of sustainability - as part of an educational institution, a non-governmental organisation or a community group


Course structure

In order to gain the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Sustainability, students must satisfactorily complete two core units and two elective units. One elective unit may be selected from another relevant Vocational Graduate Certificate or Graduate Certificate. As part of the course requirements, students need to participate in weekly or fortnightly live online tutorials (conducted after hours). In addition, students are expected to attend three full day face-to-face sessions for each unit of study. Face-to-face sessions comprise workshops at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus and off-site excursions.                                                                                                                               

Units of study

Core units Research and apply principles and tools of Sustainability (HVU20153) Develop the knowledge and skills required to research principles and tools of sustainability and apply them in practice. This unit will explore: history of sustainability; sustainability in relation to ecological, social and economic systems, and frameworks in relation to sustainable practice.

Design a change management strategy for a sustainability initiative (HVU20154) Develop a change management strategy for implementation of a sustainability initiative. This unit will explore change models and implementation methodology. Pathways to implementation of the strategy, business case for sustainability and the drivers and barriers to change will be evaluated.Elective units (Select two:)

Create an integrated sustainable land and water management plan (HVU20155) Create a sustainable integrated land and water management plan for management of natural assets and resources. This unit will explore land and water management practices in Australia, and investigate effective development and implementation of a land and water management plan.

Design for sustainable production and consumption (HVU20156) Create a process for sustainable design of a product and or service. This unit explores application of design tools and principles, and the analysis of the relationship between sustainable design, production and the consumer.

Research and model energy for a sustainable future (HVU20157) Develop a model for energy sourcing and distribution for a sustainable future. This unit will explore energy types, forms, sources and end-use; and will investigate dependence and reliance on energy.

Cultivate relationships with business and community for sustainable development (HVU20158) Learn the knowledge and skills required to develop strategies and models to cultivate effective engagement between business and community stakeholders, to achieve sustainable development outcomes.                                       

Teaching Material for this course