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 is an advanced unit linking interdisciplinary aspects of soil, groundwater, hydrogeochemistry and biological sciences to form an understanding of pollutant behaviour and of means to mitigate pollutant impact through remediation. The unit focuses on various types of point-source contamination problems (such as hydrocarbons, metal(loid)s), diffuse contamination problems (e.g., agricultural) as well as mining impacts on groundwater quality. A range of common chemical, physical and biological remediation techniques are studied, including natural attenuation and (active) bioremediation. Students are introduced to numerical modelling of the key physical, hydrogeochemical and microbial processes that affect pollutant fate and remediation. Acquired skills are used to assess environmental risks and to plan remediation schemes. Where feasible, site visits are arranged to expose the students to projects at various stages of contamination, remediation and rehabilitation.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of different types of point source and diffuse pollution; (2) evaluate physical, chemical and microbial processes governing pollution behaviour and remediation; (3) analyse chemical, physical and biological data, including basic numerical modelling skills; (4) produce reports about contamination/remediation, recommending appropriate courses of action; and (5) apply environmental risk assessment.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) Online quizzes based on seminar and workshop content; (2) report on development of a conceptual site model with associated risk assessment; and (3) report on transport and fate of a contaminant plume and the effect of different remediation options,. 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 Deirdre Gleeson and Dr Andrew Rate
Unit rules
Enrolment in
HON-ENVSC Environmental Science
or 72510 Master of Agricultural Science
or 72530 Master of Environmental Science
or 72540 Master of Hydrogeology
Advisable prior study
ENVT4401 Advanced Land Use and Management or equivalent
Contact hours
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.