Course Title: Environmental Sampling and Analysis International

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Sampling and Analysis International

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Graeme Allinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3561

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 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 have completed the required 96 cp of study. 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 activity that 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 aquatic ecosystems.

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.

The team based approach used in the course overlays exposure to an international context with project development, research and communication skills in a manner akin to working as an environment professional in collaboration with an in country group.

The project has four main components, including:

  • The selection of students in Melbourne;
  • Planning of activity in liaison with in country university students
  • Data collection in country;
  • Reporting to organisations in country and in Melbourne.

The project is specifically designed to provide a professional experience and designed to develop intercultural and personal awareness by enabling students to work and engage with international students in both online and local international setting, while operating within a professional team to complete a report for a local client

You will keep a journal indicating your activities at the workplace and reflect on how this experience relates to your coursework experience. You will work safely, ethically and in a manner in keeping of your profession.

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 (ecology and chemistry)

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:

  • Professional practice: through participation in a selection process via submission of a written expression of interest, being short-listed, interviewed, and, if successful, placed into student teams CLOs1,2,3
  • Face to face lectures where syllabus material will be explained and illustrated with real-world problems and examples (CLOs 1,2)
  • Professional practice: Regular planning workshops in Melbourne on teamwork, travel, health, in-country logistics and project planning and management 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)
  • Communication: Preparation of planning documents with local and international team members CLOs 2,3
  • Communication: Presentation of preliminary findings to a workshop in country attended by local academics, students from local universities, government and industry representatives CLO 7
  • An intensive phase in country (maximum three weeks) to gather local information on and collect data the topic CLOs 1,2,3,5,7
  • Preparation of written assignments consisting of a draft field report, and final team report (CLOs 1,2,3, 4) and on-line assignments covering aspects of theory (CLOs 1,2)
  • Preparation of a professional reflection report on your individual performance, including a peer assessment review of your team performance. CLO 1

Total study hours


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

Study time will include 4 hours per week for the semester comprising regular workshops and document preparation in Melbourne and in country. You are also expected to spend approximately 4 hours per week on private research, assignment preparation and reporting. You will also spend time travelling to and from Australia, plus an intensive phase in country (maximum three weeks).

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