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


This unit focuses on field-based assessment of land and water resources. It is a more advanced treatment of soil mapping, land use and catchment hydrology. The unit brings students to a professional level of knowledge and skills assessing land use and land capability. The field sites are chosen to have various constraints and land use changes. The unit addresses different land uses in fluvial, agricultural and mining landscapes and its influences on soils and water. This is integrated with the assessment of soils and land use to provide sustainable land use management. Students acquire skills in soil and land capability mapping at a professional level so that they can independently assess soil resources; and hydrological assessment of land with field methods, probing soil hydraulic properties, infiltration capacity, susceptibility of runoff and erosion. There are three different field trips in the surroundings of the Perth landscape where students describe and sample soils in the field. Subsequent laboratory analysis generates data that is used for the final reports of the three field trips.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Agricultural Science; Conservation Biology; Environmental Science [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) analyse and map soils to demonstrate an understanding their functions under different land use; (2) evaluate land capabilities and properties based on field observations and laboratory testing; (3) evaluate and report in a professional manner results of field and laboratory investigations that aid in land use decision making; and (4) evaluate the hydrological responses of land in the context of different land uses and changing environmental conditions.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) field trip 1—field and laboratory report (35 per cent); (2) field trip 2—field and laboratory report (35 per cent); and (3) field trip 3—field and laboratory report in the form of a scientific poster (group assessment, 30 percent). 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 Matthias Leopold
Unit rules
Enrolment in
72530 Master of Environmental Science
or 72510 Master of Agricultural Science
or 72540 Master of Hydrogeology
or 71570 Master of Geographic Information Science
or HON-CONBI Conservation Biology
or HON-ENVSC Environmental Science
or HON-AGSCI Agricultural Science
Advisable prior study
ENVT3360 Ecosystem Restoration
or ENVT2236 Soil Science
or EART3338 Land Capability Assessment or equivalent
Contact hours
three 2-day blocks (the total workload for the unit is 150 hours)
  • 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.