Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit is designed for students studying biological science majors wishing to gain experience in animal field studies. The main part of this unit is an eight-day field trip to Coral Bay, located in in the heart of the Ningaloo Reef World Heritage Area in the northwest of Western Australia. The field trip is typically held in July during the break between semesters 1 and 2. You learn techniques such as mist netting, mammal trapping, marine fauna surveys and experimental design and analysis.

The field trip itself is divided into two parts. The first comprises a series of field-based exercises that runs over five consecutive days (each exercise led by a different Biological Sciences academic). While individual projects change from year to year, the unifying aim of these exercises is to equip students with field-based skills and experiences. The second part of the field trip involves a single research project run over three days. In this second component, students work collaboratively in groups (16 students) to collect and compile data for subsequent organisation, analysis and dissemination by each student.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Wildlife Conservation major sequence
  • Level 2 option in the Zoology major sequence

Students are able to (1) work responsibly, ethically and competently in the field demonstrating appropriate use of techniques and equipment; (2) enter field data into databases and produce exploratory graphical plots; and (3) produce a scientific article or report based on a three-day group project on an aspect of animal biology that has been studied in the field.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assessment of individual performance across five separate field work modules including data entry and (2) write an individual report based on a two-day group project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the assessment of individual performance across five separate field work modules including data entry component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Jason Kennington & Dr Robin Hare
Unit rules
Successful completion of
Unit(s) BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology (ID 1244)
ENVT2250 Ecology
Approved quota: 50—students must be doing a major in Zoology, either as a the degree-specific major or as the second major. Of those students, the top 50 based on performance in BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology will be selected.
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field Trip (estimated cost - $900).
Contact hours
safety induction and lecture on animal welfare, ethics and science: 3 hours
fieldwork: 48 hours (4 x 1-day projects, 2-day group project)
other work: 16 hours (face-to face on campus, e.g. database entry, preparation of a major report based on a group project)
This unit is subject to a quota.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.