This paper chronicles the experience of academic staff in developing a course to enhance the critical thinking skills of environmental management undergraduates. We outline our considerations and process for course development, discuss insights from course evaluations, and reflect on the challenges encountered. We believe these perspectives will be useful for others who are developing critical thinking skills curricula, especially first year courses. Aspects of the course design which were considered particularly effective were the use of scaffolded assessment, the application of threshold concepts, and well-structured collaborative learning activities paired with quality tutors. The key learning for the authors from the evaluation of the course was that while the tools and strategies developed were very useful, interweaving these tools into year 2 and 3 courses would help students see the ongoing value of critical thinking in their work.