Ecotoxicology - 2016

This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 3
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP3 , SP4
  • Assessment: Invigilated Exam (45%) , LabAssignment - Lab reports (25%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 1,864.00
International 2,114.00

This unit has a vocational focus. It introduces to the student the field of environmental toxicology and teaches them practical skills in pollution sampling techniques and their application to the study of environmental assessment. This unit enables students to develop a detailed knowledge of ecotoxicological principles. It prepares the students to utilise ecological sampling techniques in the field to solve applied ecotoxicological problems and in preparing critical scientific reviews, specifically in important areas of ecotoxicology.

Please note the dates below for the compulsory requirements for this unit to attend laboratory classes at RMIT University's City Campus in central Melbourne:

Study Period 3:

  • Nov 7 - 11, 2016 - 2pm - 6pm

Study Period 4:

  • Jan 30 - Feb 3, 2017 - 12:30pm - 4:30pm

Students who do NOT attend the essential on-campus Labs will not be allowed to submit lab reports and will not fulfill the requirements for completion of this subject.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. define critical terms and concepts in ecotoxicology
  2. describe and evaluate the biological, ecological and chemical factors affecting toxicity testing
  3. differentiate between toxicants in their effects on organisms and ecosystems
  4. explain the effects of bioaccumulation and biotransformation in organisms and ecosystems and the impacts of major pollution events such as oil spills
  5. describe and discuss the interaction of micro-organisms with biogeochemical cycles
  6. describe, discuss and apply tests for pollution using micro-organisms
  7. describe and evaluate biological indicators of pollution at the habitat and organism level
  8. evaluate the risk to ecosystem function from a pollutant.
  • Invigilated Exam (45%)
  • LabAssignment — Lab reports (25%)
  • Review — Literature review & seminar (20%)
  • Test — Online tests (10%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

Or evidence of equivalent capabilities.

  • Some on campus attendance — Mandatory on-campus attendance for practical classes in the laboratory.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to ecotoxicology
2Toxicity testing
3Chemical distribution
4Specific toxicant effects
5Biological monitoring
6Ecological risk assessment
7Photosynthetic organisms and pollution
8Water pollution and water sampling methods

Each unit offered through OUA provides students with unit information that includes assessment topics and due dates, policy information and contact numbers for university support and academic staff. Study materials will also clearly outline each week's topic, readings, student activities and the format of all assessment.

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Principles of Ecotoxicology

    By:R.M. Sibly

    ISBN: 9781439862667


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.