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,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Lily Van Eeden and Prof. Rachel Caruso

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email: and

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 (PLOs):

PLO1: Apply an interdisciplinary knowledge of scientific theories, principles, concepts, and practices in the environmental sciences. 

Analyse and critically examine scientific evidence through research with reflection on the role, relevance and significance of environmental science. 

PLO3: Apply principles of scientific inquiry, tools, and techniques relevant to environmental science to solve problems informed by evidence-based decision making. 

PLO4: Critically evaluate and communicate concepts and practice relevant to the fields of environmental science to diverse audiences utilising a variety of modes employing integrity and culturally safe practices.   

PLO5: Work independently, with agility, safety, and accountability for your own learning and professional future. 

PLO6: Demonstrate knowledge of the regulatory frameworks relevant to environmental science and exhibit safe and ethical conduct. 

PLO7: Collaborate and contribute within diverse, multi-disciplinary teams, with commitment to  diversity, equity and globally inclusive  perspectives and practices including First Nations knowledges and input.


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

  1. Demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of the development of the Earth to its present-day structure
  2. Gather, describe, and explain information from a range of sources including books and journal articles
  3. Effectively communicate arguments on the theories related to past events in geological history
  4. Be an independent and self-directed learner 

Overview of Learning Activities


You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both. 

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course

Overview of Learning Resources


RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks:

Assessment Task 1 – 1000 Word Essay Written Assignment  

Weighting 30% 

This assessment supports CLOs 2, 3 & 4 


Assessment Task 2 - Online quizzes  

Weighting 15% 

This assessment supports CLOs 2 ,3 & 4 


Assessment Task 3 - Online Engagement  

Weighting: 15% 

This assessment supports CLOs 2 & 4 


Assessment Task 4 - Fieldwork activities and reports  

Weighting: 40% 

This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2 & 4