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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The coastal zone is shaped by fundamental physical processes that interact with biological and chemical processes along the boundary between the land and deep ocean. This unit introduces students to the study of coastal and marine geoscience with a focus on physical processes in the nearshore (waves, tides, currents) that transport sediments and create changes in coastal morphology. The spectacular Western Australian coastline provides a natural laboratory in which to develop an understanding of coastal physical processes and their interactions with biological and chemical processes and the factors that drive coastline changes over a range of timescales. This knowledge can then be used to examine how coastlines may evolve in coming decades as a result of rising sea levels and climate change.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Integrated Earth and Marine Sciences; Marine Science; Marine and Coastal Processes major sequences
  • Level 2 option in the Geology major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental physical processes operating in the coastal zone; (2) identify the primary processes that shape the coastal zone and drive changes in coastal morphology; (3) collect, analyse and report on coastal field datasets; and (4) integrate coastal datasets with knowledge of coastal processes to understand observed long-term shoreline changes.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratory assignments; (2) quizzes; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Jeff Hansen
Unit rules
6 Points Unit(s) EART1105 Dynamic Planet (ID 1247)
or Unit(s) GEOG1103 Urbanisation and Sustainability (ID 5929)
Unit(s) GEOG3307 Coastal Environments
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
practicals/labs: 1 x 3 hours per week
  • 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.