Course Title: Environmental Sampling and Analysis

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Sampling and Analysis

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Graeme Allinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3561

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: City Campus: Bld 3, Level 2, Room 23

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You must have completed at least 96 credit points (2 semesters) of your postgraduate Science degree, including satisfactory completion of ENVI1207, ENVI1210 and ENVI1215 before you commence this course.

Alternatively you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course. Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

Course Description

This course aims to provide you with learning experiences that simulate the types of tasks you might have to do as a practising environmental scientist. This includes working in small teams consisting of people from different areas of expertise on projects which will involve sampling, analyses and report writing. The theory and practical work is focussed on enhancing field, laboratory and analytical skills using environmental samples taken from air, water, soil and biota.

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a simulated workplace context and where feedback from peers is integral to your experience.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

After successfully completing this course you will be able to:

CLO 1 Demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of sampling and measurement techniques for monitoring environmental parameters

CLO 2 Demonstrate knowledge of the causes and effects of human impacts on the environment

CLO 3 Gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from a range of sources in order to produce a consultancy style report

CLO 4 Collect, accurately record, interpret and draw conclusions from scientific data you have collected or sourced from the literature

CLO 5 Work safely on field trips

CLO 6 Work effectively, responsibly, ethically and safely in an individual and in a team context.

This course is a University elective for most Science Masters by Coursework degrees. It is designed to contribute to the following PLOs at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 8 and above:

  • Understanding science: demonstrating a coherent understanding of environmental science (aligned with PLOs 1.1, 1.2)
  • Scientific knowledge: exhibiting depth and breadth of environmental science knowledge (aligned with PLO 2.1)
  • Inquiry and problem solving: critically analysing and solving problems in environmental science (aligned with PLOs 2.2, 2.3)
  • Communication: being an effective communicator of environmental sciences (aligned with PLOs 2.4, 2.5)
  • Personal and professional responsibility: being accountable for individual learning and scientific work in environmental science (aligned with PLOs 3.1, 3.2, 3.3)

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities you will undertake will consist of:

  • Face to face lectures where syllabus material will be explained and illustrated with real-world problems and examples (CLOs 1,2)
  • Fieldwork and laboratory projects designed to give you practice in the application of theory and analytical procedures (CLOs 1,3,4,5)
  • Written assignments consisting of a field report, team report and reflective writing (CLOs 1,2,3, 4) and on-line assignments covering aspects of theory (CLOs 1,2)
  • Collaborative team work.(CLO 6)

Total study hours


This activity is expected to consist of at least 120 hours over one semester.

You will be expected to attend 8 hours of formal lectures, a 4 day field trip and work with your team members for 3 hours a week during formally allocated class time (~70 hours).

The expected independent study time for assignments and report writing is at least 50 hours

Overview of Learning Resources

This is a ‘learning-by-doing’ course. As such, there is no set textbook or required reading, however information and skills gained in previous courses will be called upon. A range of information and resources will be available on myRMIT Blackboard. You will also need to seek out information e.g. texts, journals and resources relevant to your topic through the RMIT library and other sources as well as in-country data sourced at workshops and site visits.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course consists of both individual and team assignments:

Assessment 1 (individual): On-Line tests (25%) CLOs 1&2

Assessment 2 - Field trip related work (50%), including:

  • Personal notebook (10%) (Individual) (observations and data from field trip - must include drawings) CLOs 3&4
  • Draft Major Report (Team) (40%) CLO2 1,2, 3,4 & 6

Assessment 3 (Individual): Reflective report (10%) CLO 6

Assessment 4 (group): Final Team report (15%) CLO 6