Course Outline

SUS202 Communicating Sustainability

Course Coordinator:Harriot Beazley ( School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Communicating sustainability ideas effectively is essential to achieving transformation at individual, organizational and societal scales. Sustainability communication is a complex task requiring comprehensive sustainability knowledge, interpersonal skills, creativity, precision and proficiencies across a diverse mix of media. This course combines communication theory and sustainability discourse to present a range of proven techniques and strategies to achieve action for sustainability. You’ll gain interdisciplinary experience across the trans-media landscape and range of advocacy mechanisms.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – 1 hour of asynchronous learning materials. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On Campus Workshop - 2 hours 2hrs Week 1 11 times

Course Topics

Contested conceptions of sustainability

Defining a sustainability issue

The ethical purpose of communicating sustainability

Theoretical frameworks for communicating sustainability

Elements of communication, e.g. audience, message, messenger, mode, monitoring, evaluation

Tools for communicating: news media, visual, stories, dialogue, games, film, planned events, advocacy, disruption

Case study: climate change

Developing strategies for communicating sustainability


What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Communicate sustainability ideas effectively and succinctly by applying communication principles and using credible evidence. Creative and critical thinker
2 Use written and visual communication strategies for the effective dissemination of sustainability knowledge and ideas. Empowered
3 Analyse and apply a range of communication tools and strategies with reference to purpose, audience, content and the sustainability context. Engaged
4 Use and integrate relevant technologies to enhance the efficacy of sustainability communication strategies. Sustainability-focussed

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Foundation knowledge in sustainability principles, theory and application

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Workshops include formative feedback from peers and the course convenor on assessments prior to their submission. This is to ensure students are addressing the required criteria and to identify where there is need for additional support.  

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 30%
1000 words
Week 3 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 30%
A3 page info graphic
Week 8 Online Submission
All 3 Report Individual 40%
1500 words
Week 12 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Case Study
To analyse a sustainability issue and reflect on implications for effective communication to inspire appropriate action
Product: Written Piece
Individual 1000 word report (excluding reference list) 
Identify a sustainability issue evident in media/social media; then using academic references examine its main drivers, impacts, stakeholders, potential actions to address it, and implications for communication.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Identify and describe key drivers and impacts
Identify and describe a range of stakeholder perspectives on your chosen issue
Suggest appropriate goals for communicating to each of the stakeholder groups identified
Ensure the quality of syntax, mechanics and evidence-based resources in your review
All - Assessment Task 2:Info graphic
To communicate the important dimensions of a sustainability issue in a concise and effective visual format.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
An individual info graphic (A3 size with minimum of 11 font) that critically presents a sustainability issue suitable for inclusion on a website plus submission of a 500 word rationale (using the developmental worksheet provided).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Evaluate and apply the principles of sustainability communication
Synthesise sustainability information using an info graphic format
Ensure the quality of syntax, mechanics and evidence-based resources in your info graphic and rationale
All - Assessment Task 3:Communications strategy
To demonstrate your ability to develop an effective transmedia communication strategy to address a contemporary sustainability issue.
Product: Report
Individual 1500 word communication strategy (excluding references).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Articulate the goal/s of the communication strategy
Identify the target audience/s
Develop effective messages and identify influential messengers
Analyse a range of communication modes and select the most appropriate mode/s
Describe how the impact of your strategy will be monitored and evaluated
Ensure the quality of syntax, mechanics and evidence-based resources in your strategy​​

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

Information regarding prescribed texts or other associated resources will be made available on the Canvas site prior to commencement of study.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
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  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890