Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Issues of sustainability and resilience are prominent today in light of accelerating climate deterioration, rising populations, and declining resources. But these issues are not new, and numerous past societies have faced these crises before. In this subject you will learn about past societies that have innovated and adapted successfully, resulting in sustainable and/or resilient societies that thrived. You will also learn about societies that failed to adapt and/or failed to innovate, resulting in societal collapse. These success or failure of a society within respective socioenvironmental systems - the systems that govern the interactions between human societies and the changing environments that they occupied, transformed, and attempted to adapt to, you will learn about sustainability, resilience and collapse from an archaeological perspective. The subject addresses La Trobe's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Essential.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorN/A

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 60cp


Incompatible subjectsARC3SRC

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

COMMUNICATION - Communicating and Influencing
COMMUNICATION - Cultural Intelligence and Global Perspective
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Creativity and Innovation
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Adaptability and Self-Management
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Ethical and Social Responsibility
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Leadership and Teamwork

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Identify how new scientific techniques can challenge deep-seated narratives around key events in past societal-transformations.
02. Evaluate alternative models and theories of societal collapse - recognising how such understandings are constantly re-framed by new theoretical perspectives, new evidence, and/or new analytical techniques.
03. Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between sustainability and resilience, using archaeological examples of both.
04. Apply novel analytical perspectives to archaeological and historical data in order to generate new understandings of societal adaptation to changing environmental conditions.
05. Recognise and describe the limitations of archaeological data in the study of changing societal interactions during times of crisis and change.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2020, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorKeir Strickland

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
One 1.50 h lecture per week on any day including weekend during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via online.
"Online lectures developed through 1BS"

Tutorial Week: 31 - 43
One 1.50 h tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*
Online quizzes (900 word equivalent) QuizzesN/AN/AN/ANo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO5
Flipped Exam - 2 hours - 1800 words equivalent In this assessment students are given the exam questions in the final tutorial of the semester. They then work in groups to plan ideal answers, and to reflect upon gaps in their understanding or knowledge. This is used to guide their revision ahead of a closed book exam.N/AN/AN/ANo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO5
Written essay - 1800 words Individual written assessmentN/AN/AN/ANo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5