Course Title: The Changing Environment

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: The Changing Environment

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: James Chapman

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3702

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.​1.02B

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, through email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to basic concepts in Environmental Science and provides you with a specific background on the composition and structure of the Earth.  It will take you on a journey from the Big Bang to the present day, examining the evidence we have for our theories on the beginning and development of the Earth.  You will study in detail the development of the Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, the Atmosphere, and the interactions which occur between them.  The environment of the Melbourne area will be used to illustrate the topics studied.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes at AQF level 7

  • PLO 1 understanding science, demonstrate a coherent understanding of environmental science
  • PLO 2 scientific knowledge, exhibit depth and breadth of environmental science
  • PLO 3 inquiry and problem solving, critically analyse and solve problems in environmental science
  • PLO 4 communication, be an effective communicator of environmental science
  • PLO 5 personal and professional responsibility, be accountable for individual learning and scientific work in environmental science


On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

CLO 1.        demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of the development of the Earth to its present-day structure

CLO 2.        gather, synthesize and critically evaluate information from a range of sources including books and journal articles

CLO 3.        effectively communicate arguments on the theories related to past events in geological history

CLO 4         .be an independent and self-directed learner 


Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • pre-recorded lecture material where syllabus material will be presented, explained and illustrated with examples
  • participation in field work
  • completion of online tests, reviews and written structured field reports, prepared on the basis of instruction provided prior to the activities requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter
  • private study, working through the coursework as presented in classes and other learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems

Total Study Hours

You will be required to watch pre-recorded lectures, and read additional material/media as directed, related to the topics being studied.

You are also expected to engage in independent study for a further 6 hours per week. The average commitment to this course is 10 hours per week.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will be provided with lists of relevant texts, library resources (Including appropriate journals) and freely accessible internet sites. You will be able to access course information and learning material through the Canvas course site.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

This course is assessed through the following assessment tasks.

1. Written Assignment x 1 (40%)

This assessment supports CLOs 2, 3 & 4

2. Weekly on-line quizzes (20%)

This assessment supports CLOs 2 ,3 & 4

3. Weekly contribution to online activities (20%)

This assessment supports CLOs 2 & 4

4. Fieldwork activities and reports (20%)

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4