ENVT4422 Research Methods in Environmental Science

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit introduces students to the principles of environmental research, and provides students exposure to the diversity of investigation methods relevant to environmental science. Students are given the opportunity to experience these research methods being applied to ‘real world' environmental issues. It is delivered through a mix of on-line and a face-to face sessions, which includes field visits. Module 1 focuses on the establishment of context and the formulation of research questions and hypotheses for testing, and examines potential tools available to test these hypotheses. Working in groups with a mentor, students will be exposed to selected environmental research projects, and will be asked to critique these examples in Module 2. Students have the opportunity to conduct their own environmental research project in Module 3 when they focus on data collection and analysis at a selected site, and will learn how best to communicate their findings. In 2019, the field trip will take place in Albany.
Students are able to (1) understand how research questions and hypotheses are developed and how appropriate methods are selected to test them; (2) evaluate the knowledge base around a selected research question; (3) demonstrate appropriate environmental data collection methods in the field; (4) demonstrate knowledge of the risks associated with undertaking environmental research, and how to minimise these risks; (5) analyse and map environmental data using appropriate statistical and GIS approaches; and (6) communicate the findings of environmental research studies in appropriate written form.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) literature review; (2) case study critique; and (3) scientific report. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Barbara Cook
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Environmental Science (72530) and completion of 24 points or 24 points credit.
ENVT4421 Fundamentals of Environmental Management
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 or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field trip accommodation and food expenses (estimated cost - $55 per day up to $275).
Contact hours
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.