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 introduces students to the major global ecological challenges (e.g. changing climate, extreme natural and man-made disturbances and population pressure) and the associated uncertainties in predicting consequences for humankind. Students engage in critical analysis of the scientific evidence and gain greater understanding of the major drivers underpinning system change at the global scale and how these are expressed locally. The unit uses a 'flipped classroom' approach that encourages independent student investigations of hot topics in global ecology, including presentations and group discussions.

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

Students are able to (1) develop an understanding of global ecological processes and challenges and link them with local examples; (2) reassess and balance their own opinions on major ecological challenges; and (3) analyse evidence and develop logical critical arguments to evaluate the interacting causes of environmental change.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) an essay; (2) an oral presentation; and (3) discussion participation. 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 Grzegorz Skrzypek
Unit rules
Enrolment in
72520 Master of Biological Science
or 74540 Master of Marine Biology
or 62560 Master of Renewable and Future Energy
Contact hours
lectures/presentation/discussions: 2 hours per week (13 sessions over 7 weeks) 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.