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


Climate change is widely acknowledged as the single largest challenge that faces the environment and society. This course engages students in practical activities and interactive learning experiences to understand the science, causes and processes of climate change. The course is about the Geography of climate change, exploring how climate change and variability impacts the physical environment, human societies and economies. Students learn about our dynamic and changing catchments and coastal systems, and how our changing climate and atmospheric processes are impacting hydrology and water resources. The course also focuses on the deep-time experience of human societies, and how they have experienced, been impacted by, and adapted to, changing climates and to climate variability.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1OnlineOnline timetabled
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Geographical Sciences; Geographical and Spatial Science major sequences
  • Level 1 option in the Social and Environmental Sustainability major sequence
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) identify the fundamental scientific processes of climate change; (2) explain key landscape processes and identify how climate change is impacting terrestrial, marine and coastal systems; (3) discuss how climate change affects environments and societies (highlighting current, past and indigenous Australian examples); and (4) compare and contrast the impacts of climate change on environmental systems and society, at present and future scenarios..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) policy brief; (2) report; and (3) practical class portfolio. 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 Caitlin Moore
Contact hours
Lectures: 2 hrs per week for up to 12 weeks
Practicals: 2 hrs per week (not labs in every week)
  • 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.