The Changing Environment - 2018

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 - Book Review & Peer Assessment (15%) , Assignment 2 - Journal Article Review (15%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 1,169.00
HECS 1,169.00
International 1,419.00
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 independent 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.
  • Assignment 1 — Book Review & Peer Assessment (15%)
  • Assignment 2 — Journal Article Review (15%)
  • Journal — Weekly Journal (10%)
  • Report — Independent Field Reports (20%)
  • 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.

1Introduction and Earth's beginnings
2A cook's tour of the universe
3Plate Tectonics
4Earthquakes and the Earth's structure
5Volcanism and plutons
7How old are we?
8Development of the atmosphere
9Weathering and soils
10Past climates

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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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