Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Diploma in Outdoor Environmental Studies

A career that combines environmental studies, exploration and adventure. This diploma equips you with the skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to the leadership of transformative outdoor environmental experiences in natural settings as a guide and scientific interpreter.

In this program you will:

  • Learn to navigate diverse terrain using non-motorised modes of travel
  • Develop an understanding of environmental management objectives, and learn about unique terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the organisms that inhabit them
  • Complete supervised outdoor environmental studies fieldwork (depending on elective choices) in local natural environments and World Heritage Areas

This program is only available to International students





1 year 1 year Full-time or equivalent part-time Only a full-time option is available to international students on a Student visa. Online programs are not available to Student visa holders.
Full-time or equivalent part-time Only a full-time option is available to international students on a Student visa. Online programs are not available to Student visa holders.

Indicative fees

Indicative 2023 fees (A$)

A$24,300 / A$24,300 Annual fee / Estimated total fee
Annual fee / Estimated total fee


  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2

Career opportunities

  • Entry-level environmental management positions
  • Outdoor education leaders
  • Outdoor environmental studies
female and male students looking at objects found on beach foreshore

  • Semester 1
  • Semester 2
Delivery mode
  • Blended Learning
Total courses
Total units
1 year 1 year
UniSC program code
Program structure
Required courses (4) 48 units

Select 4 courses from:

ANM102 Endangered Animals and their Conservation
ANM104 Marine Vertebrates: Sharks, Seabirds, Fish, Turtles and Whales
ENS120 Introduction to Environmental Management
OES100 Outdoor Living and Travel Skills
OES101 Foundations of Outdoor Environmental Studies
OES104 Learning in Australian Landscapes
OES215 Marine Science Education Fieldwork
OES240 Leading Groups in Outdoor Environments
SUS202 Communicating Sustainability

Elective courses (4) 48 units

Select 4 elective courses (48 units) from the undergraduate elective course options which may include the following recommended electives:

ANM103 Animal Form, Function and Evolution
ENS103 Earth's Surface Processes
ENS223 Environmental Impact Assessment
ENS282 Coastal and Marine Ecology
GEO100 The Changing Planet
GEO201 Hydrology and Geomorphology
SCI102 Biodiversity and Ecology
SUS101 Foundations of Sustainability
SUS201 Advancing Sustainability: Planet, People and Prosperity

Note: Program structures are subject to change. Not all UniSC courses are available on every UniSC campus. Semester of offer is subject to change, not all courses will be available each semester.

Study sequences

International students who have completed studies relevant to the program are eligible for up to four courses credit based on the previous completed studies.

Entry requirements

For entry into most USC undergraduate degree programs, you need to have completed a minimum level of education similar to successful completion of Australian Year 12 with good grades.

Further studies, for example, a semester or more at college or university, can also be considered for entry and may give you credit transfer towards a degree.

Some examples of upper secondary qualifications and a guide to the minimum grades that USC will consider are listed here. These are minimum requirements and do not guarantee entry. Some programs may require higher grades. Alternative qualifications may also be considered on a case by case basis.

If your qualification (grouped by country) is not listed, send the qualification transcripts with your application form to the International Office for assessment.

English language requirements

You will also need to meet the English language requirements for this program. If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you may be able to enrol in our English Language Programs to reach the required level for most of UniSC’s programs (exceptions apply to non-standard English requirement programs).

Additional entry information

Applicants from a non-English speaking background must attain an IELTS (Academic) overall score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each subtest.

Recommended prior study
English and at least one of the sciences
Program requirements

In order to graduate you must:

  • Successfully complete 96 units as outlined in the Program Structure
Program notes
  • Completing this program within the specified (full-time) duration is based on studying 48 unit points per semester (normally 4 courses) and following the recommended study sequence
  • The unit value of all courses is 12 units unless otherwise specified
  • It is each students responsibility to enrol correctly according to your course requisites, program rules and requirements and be aware of the academic calendar dates
  • Courses within this program are assessed using a variety of assessment methods which may include essays, seminar presentations, reports, in-class tests and examinations
  • Courses that involve field trips may require a degree of physical fitness and mobility. If you have a disability, medical condition or any concerns that may affect your potential participation in some of the practical components of the program, you are invited to discuss your options with the program coordinator
  • Some items of personal equipment will need to be provided/purchased by the students themselves. This would include:
    Personal sleeping mat, personal sleeping bag, walking shoes/boots, Backpack, Torch, Daypack
  • The University will meet most costs of the field trips, but students will be required to pay for their own food. Students may also elect to participate in some additional private trips to refine their skills, knowledge and experience
  • Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa
  • Refer to the Managing your progression page for help in understanding your program structure, reviewing your progress and planning remaining courses.

Headstart Program - Year 11 or 12

The Headstart program lets you study uni subjects while you’re still in high school. If you successfully complete two Headstart courses, you’ll get a selection rank that you could use to get into uni.

Early Offer Guarantee scheme - Year 12

The Early Offer Guarantee scheme enables Year 12 students to be offered a place at USC on the basis of their Principal's recommendation.

Previous qualifications or experience

If you:

  • have completed Year 12 (no matter how long ago)
  • have a TAFE/VET qualification
  • have relevant work experience, or
  • have studied at university before (even if you didn’t complete your studies)

You may be eligible for a selection rank, which can help you get into uni. For more detailed information selection ranks and how applications are assessed, visit Admissions explained.

Tertiary Preparation Pathway

If you don’t have qualifications or experience that will give you a selection rank, you can complete the Tertiary Preparation Pathway as a stepping stone into most degrees. You can also use TPP to complete subject prerequisites.

If you haven’t studied in a while, TPP is also a great way to brush up on essential study skills like critical reading, assignment writing and referencing.

It can also build your knowledge and confidence in the subject areas you’ll need for your degree, like science or maths. TPP courses are fee-free for eligible domestic students.

I identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

You may be eligible for direct entry into a USC degree based on your potential to succeed, under USC’s Indigenous Direct Entry and Access Scheme (IDEAS). All you have to do is complete an online application through our website.

Annual tuition fee (A$, 2023)
Estimated total tuition fee (A$, 2023)

Fee-paying places

A fee-paying place is not covered by any government subsidy, and you are required to pay the full cost of the courses you are studying.

If you accept a fee-paying place, you can defer the cost of your studies via a FEE-HELP loan. Eligibility for a FEE-HELP loan is the same as for a Commonwealth-supported place. You must:

  • meet the citizenship and residency requirements
  • complete an electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form (eCAF)
  • meet the University's entry requirements for your chosen program.

International fee-paying places

Estimated total tuition fees are based on 2023 rates and the minimum number of courses required within the programs standard duration.

Annual tuition fees are based on 2023 rates and the equivalent full-time student load as per the recommended study sequence in the relevant program.

Actual fees payable are based on the actual enrolment load in a teaching period (excluding Study Abroad and Postgraduate Qualifying Pathway).

All prices quoted are in Australian Dollars (A$).

Domestic applicants apply for admission through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC). Some applicants may be eligible to apply direct to USC if they meet certain criteria.

Find out about how to apply and key application closing dates.

No matter what kind of future you’re looking for, you can find it at UniSC. Our programs offer the choice and flexibility you need to get started on any career goal.

Visit How to apply for simple steps to submit your international student application and start your UniSC experience today.

Need help with submitting your application?

UniSC has appointed representatives to assist you with submitting your application and provide information about the steps you need to complete to begin your studies. You can contact a UniSC Representative in your area.

Any questions? Contact us.

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Complete a 5-day supervised professional experience
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Student story

“The teaching staff and their approaches are the best part about USC, and I loved taking the learning outside into real environments so often.”
Lauren Tasker Graduate
Need advice on what to study or how to apply? 
Our Student Central team can help.

Call us +61 7 5430 2890
Email us information@usc.edu.au
For locations and opening hours, visit Student Central.

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