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 is designed to enhance students' knowledge of the theory and practice of ecotourism. Based on a detailed investigation of the core principles (nature, learning and sustainability) of ecotourism, students develop a generic evaluation framework, and then test this framework of criteria on an ecotourism enterprise to assess the level of achievement ('performance') of this case study against the principles of ecotourism. Through these and other activities, students explore the relationship between ecotourism and nature-based, adventure and cultural tourism, gain a better understanding of the nature of ecotourism clients, develop skills to assess the impacts of ecotourism on the environment and on local communities, and assess how successful the case study ecotourism ventures have been in terms of environmental education, contribution to conservation, and contributions to the local community. This case study approach thus introduces students to the theoretical foundation necessary for the effective development and implementation of sustainable ecotourism activities.

6 points

Students are able to (1) use their knowledge of the concepts underpinning sustainable ecotourism to critically evaluate ecotourism ventures within the tourism industry; (2) use their knowledge of the environmental impacts of the ecotourism industry to develop and implement a monitoring plan to assess and manage these impacts; (3) use appropriately designed questionnaires to gain a better understanding of the motivation, attitude and behaviours of ecotourists; and (4) communicate the findings of their evaluations in a written form.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) an evaluation report (group); (2) a questionnaire (individual); and (3) a monitoring report (individual). 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 Barbara Cook
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Ecotourism (73510) or equivalent as determined by the unit coordinator
Contact hours
lectures/field excursions/group discussions/mini-conference: approx. 60 hours

Fennell, D. Ecotourism: Routledge 2008 (available online through UWA library) or

Weaver, D. Ecotourism: John Wiley & Sons 2008


Buckley, R. ed. Environmental Impacts of Ecotourism: Wallingford 2004

  • 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.