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


Global population size is expected to reach between 9.5 billion by 2050 and amongst the challenges facing the world is the need to develop effective and efficient methods of waste disposal. This unit focuses on the theoretical, practical and technological advances in waste processing allowing humanity to move toward a zero-waste ecosystem. Academics and industrialists will cover the basic types of waste streams generated by our activities. They will cover the rationale and strategies behind zero waste policies and the current work in developing products from our wastes, such as energy and protein sources, which can then enter the circular economy. Enabling technologies such as anaerobic digestion, composting, biological reactors and algal biosystems will be explored as well as specific examples of industrial deployment through field visits and industry guest lecturers. This unit is modular and will include examples specific to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to allow students with different backgrounds to gain fundamental knowledge of waste processing, supplemented with examples pertinent to their study path.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the meaning and limitations regarding the concept of a circular economy in its historical context; (2) evaluate the extent to which the concept, goals and limitations of a circular economy apply to a specific industry, technology or product; (3) characterise in detail the current technologies for waste recycling and assess the best options for the downstream usages of the outputs; and (4) develop new strategies to generate high value products and services from our waste streams, including energy and novel products.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short circular economy assignment; (2) industry led consultancy written report; and (3) presentation. 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 Sasha Jenkins and Professor Steve Schilizzi
Unit rules
Enrolment in
72510 Master of Agricultural Science
or 72530 Master of Environmental Science
or 71580 Master of Biotechnology
Contact hours
Lectures 15 x 1 hour (online and pre-recorded), 5 x 1hr Industry seminar (Face to Face), Industry Contact (dependent on partner selected)
  • 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.