The University of Melbourne has confirmed that the Bachelor of Environments will be discontinued and replaced by a new Bachelor of Design and a new environmental science degree in the following years.
In late February, the University of Melbourne Academic Board approved the new Bachelor of Design. The ‘BDes’ will be displayed in the 2017 VTAC guide.
It was mentioned by a representative of the Provost that the Bachelor of Environments will not be taking new students in 2017 at the Academic Board meeting. This decision was confirmed in a University-wide email in early March.
According to the documentation tabled at Academic Board, majors native to the Bachelor of Environments such as Architecture, Spatial Systems and Civil Systems will be offered under the new Design degree. In addition, new majors such as Digital Media have also been proposed.
One anonymous source has expressed concern over how these two degrees will be run, arguing that students will be unsure as to how the courses differ.
“This raises serious concerns for existing Bachelor of Environments students. The University will need to ensure the degree is properly taught out and not devalued, and will also need to ensure that future students understand what the changes mean for them.”
Farrago also understands that many of the professors present at the Academic Board meeting voted in favour of creating the new degree despite being personally against it.
Furthermore, it is understood that a new undergraduate environmental science degree may be approved in 2018 pending a review. Depending on the outcome, the environmental science degree will most likely comprise the more traditionally scientific majors from the Bachelor of Environments, such as Engineering. Because this environmental science degree has yet to be created, it is understood that in 2017 there will be no pathways to begin studying environmental science within the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.