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 paradigm of plate tectonics encompasses both plate margins and intraplate areas, explaining the styles and distribution of deformation in the crust and the mantle through geologic time. This unit examines relationships between plate movements, large-scale crustal processes and deformation, flow of fluids through the crust (including those creating economic resources), and the geological structures that are produced and both plate boundaries and intraplate areas. This information is then used to interpret the tectonic evolution of ancient geological terrains, with particular emphasis on the Precambrian rocks and resources of Western Australia, and case studies of multi-scale scales. A compulsory field trip examines deformation and related metamorphism on the south coast of WA, and always runs in the period before semester 1 starts (compulsory; charges: cost of food and accommodation is borne by the student).

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Geology; Integrated Earth and Marine Sciences; Geochemistry major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of the origin, formation and development of tectonic plate boundaries and how to recognise them in the geological record; (2) demonstrate understanding of dynamic plate systems and how tectonic structures develop in each system; (3) apply these concepts to analyse geological terrains, both ancient and modern; and (4) use practical skills using techniques in structural geology and tectonic analysis.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) progressive assessment during semester; (2) field trip practical exercises and a report; and (3) research project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Myra Keep
Unit rules
Successful completion of
three Unit(s) EART2232 Field Geology
and Unit(s) EART2231 Earth Materials
and EART2234 Earth Processes
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 to Bremer Bay and Hopetoun (estimated cost - $300).
Contact hours
workshops: 3 x 2 hours per week
compulsory field trip: prior to start of semester (charges: cost of food and accommodation is borne by the student). Note that this trip runs prior to the start of semester. Please contact unit coordinator for details as early as possible if you are thinking of taking this unit. This is especially important if you are not coming directly from 2nd year or you are an international exchange student.

A comprehensive reading list is given at the beginning of the unit.


  • 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.