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 will explore the basis for how energy (including fossil fuels, alternative energy, and frontier technologies) have evolved over the past century, and how this evolution has crafted much of the geopolitical framework of the modern world. In the dialogue, we will explore the basis for common energy technologies in a non-technical context, enabling discussion across a variety of background fields and contexts. We will then explore these technologies further by analysing a few pivotal case studies from the past decade that shaped the landscape and discussion of energy. As one example, we will look at the BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, analysing (i) the narrative provided to the public, (ii) how this diverged from the technical challenges, (iii) how government and industry pivoted due to the case, and (iv) how local, national, and international policies and discussion changed as a consequence. The unit is designed for students from the humanities, business, engineering, and related disciplines, and will provide a framework to understand and assess how the field of energy production will evolve over the coming decade

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the basic production principles for conventional and unconventional energy assets; (2) identify common engineering and operating challenges associated with different energy production strategies around the world; (3) contextualise region-specific challenges to energy production, based on the global economy and current environmental regulations; (4) analyse energy industry case studies to determine how technical obstacles impacted marketing and communication in the energy industry; (5) demonstrate the ability to present a critical case study analysis to a non-technical audience; and (6) evaluate the effectiveness of marketing and communication strategies that have historically been employed to shift public narrative around high-profile challenges.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments and quizzes; (2) case studies; and (3) a final 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)
Professor Zach Aman
Unit rules
completion of 72 points of the Level 1
and Level 2 units
  • 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.