by Mitali Chaudhari
Course name: Master of Environmental Science (MSc)
University: The University of Western Australia
Course length: 2-4 years (by dissertation or coursework)
Location: Perth, Australia
Q1) What did you do before this course?
I did my Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Mumbai before this course.
Q2) What did you like most about the course? Is there anything you would change about the course?
I liked that the units have been segregated according to the coursework or dissertation pathway in this course. However, it would be better if the course was more flexible by allowing us to choose some units across the four specialisations.
Q3) Why did you choose this course over other courses you may have been considering?
I chose this course over similar courses from other Australian universities because of the elaborate description of the units and the course structure in their handbook. The course is subdivided into the following specialisations:
- Environmental management
- Environmental economics
- Catchments and Water
- Environmental Rehabilitation
- Marine and Coastal
- Sensing and Spatial Data Science
The hyperlink for this course is as follows: Course details: UWA Handbook 2021 : The University of Western Australia .
Q4) Are there any specific requirements for being able to apply to and take this course?
A Bachelor’s degree in any discipline that is closely related to environmental science allows us to choose the specialisation of our choice. However, if the student is from a general science background (like a Bachelors in Physics or Chemistry) then they are placed in the environmental management specialisation.
Q5) What sort of work are you doing (e.g., more group work/more individual work; more project-based work/more essay writing, etc.)?
This course is a combination of group and individual assignments with a few field trips. Some units require us to analyse soil and water samples in a wet laboratory, and then process the results obtained in statistical software in order to compile them into technical reports.
However, for the dissertation pathway, the majority of units in the second year are devoted to research work, fieldwork, or computational analysis.
Q6) What is life at this university like?
A typical week at the university involves three to four days of classes, either online or in-person, followed by completing assignments on the weekends. Further, the cafes on campus provide good options for a quick bite and a takeaway coffee. Additionally, the campus is very ancient, beautiful, and sceni,c with a mix of old sandstone and a few modern buildings. The Career Centre, Student Central (administrative office), and the Faculty of Science office help new students transition to university life smoothly. I like their career centre, especially, for the support that I have received from them for getting job-ready in my last semester.
Q7) What are typical jobs graduates do after completing the course?
The common jobs for environmental science graduates in Australia are as follows:
- Environmental Consultant or Advisor
- Environmental Officer
- Environmental Scientist
- Conservation Officer or Landcare facilitator or Ecologist
Here is a useful link to get a gist of these career pathways: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-an-environmental-scientist-526015.
Mitali has completed a Masters in Chemistry by coursework from the University of Mumbai (India) before undertaking a second Master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Western Australia. She volunteers for the restoration, revegetation, and monitoring of the Swan River estuary in Perth near the University of Western Australia. She is also interested in studying the human impact on wetlands in western Australia.
References:Course details : UWA Handbook 2021 : The University of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia, https://handbooks.uwa.edu.au/coursedetails?id=c166#course-overview, last accessed on 12th Oct. 2021.
 Orderinchaos, File: OIC UWA winthrop hall sunset.jpg, Self-published work by the author, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:OIC_UWA_winthrop_hall_sunset.jpg, last accessed on 13th Oct. 2021.
 Dawn Rosenberg Mckay, ‘What does an environmental scientist do? Learn about the salary, required skills, and more’, The Balance Careers, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-an-environmental-scientist-526015, last accessed on 12th Oct. 2021.