The Changing Environment - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Journal (8%) , Assignment 2 - Journal Review (10%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 1,131.00
HECS 1,131.00
International 1,381.00

This unit introduces students to basic concepts in Environmental Science and provides them with a specific background on the composition and structure of the Earth. Students will study the development of the Earth from its cosmic beginnings to the current structure of the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The interaction between these components will be investigated and the environment of the Melbourne area will be used extensively to illustrate the topics studied. This unit contains optional fieldwork.

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

  1. Describe the theories related to the development of Earth
  2. Explain the evidence used to support the theories
  3. Explain the behaviour of a range of geological occurrences such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes
  4. Describe the development of the atmosphere
  5. Explain the function of different parts of the atmosphere
  6. Describe the function of the hydrosphere and its components.
  • Assignment 1 — Journal (8%)
  • Assignment 2 — Journal Review (10%)
  • Report — Field Reports (30%)
  • Review — Book Review & Peer Assessment (12%)
  • Test — Online (40%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Note: Level 2 units normally assume an introductory level of prior knowledge in this area, e.g. from studying related Level 1 units or other relevant experience.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Unique Earth: our place in the Universe
2Stars, Space and Galaxies
3How old are we?
4Development of the atmosphere
5Past Climates
6Plate tectonics
7Earthquakes and the Earth's structure
8Volcanism and plutons
10Weathering and soils

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 an approved elective 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

  • Earth Science and the Environment, 4th ed., (or later)

    By:Thompson & Turk

    ISBN: 9780538451239


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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