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


Earth's surface is made up of a variety of rocks and sediments. The composition and location of these materials provide important information about the geological processes operating at and below the surface as part of the Earth system. In this unit, emphasis is placed on linking observations about Earth materials to understanding their processes of formation through practical work. The role of large-scale tectonic and climatic controls, and relevance to society of understanding processes that control the formation and composition of common Earth materials, are also explored.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Geology; Integrated Earth and Marine Sciences; Geochemistry major sequences
  • Level 2 option in the Social and Environmental Sustainability major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the processes associated with the formation of common Earth materials at or near Earth's surface; (2) make reliable and thorough observations about the composition and features of common igneous and sedimentary materials; (3) combine their observations with conceptual knowledge to interpret process of formation; and (4) demonstrate scientific skills in recording and presenting reasoned interpretations.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) practical exercises; (2) a practical examination; and (3) a theory 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)
Dr Moyra Wilson
Unit rules
Successful completion of
one Unit(s) EART1104 Discovering Earth
Advisable prior study
any CHEM (Chemistry) unit
or WACE Chemistry
or TEE Chemistry
Contact hours
lecture-tutorials and workshops: 3 hours per week
labs: 3 hours per week (from week 1)
  • 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.