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


The interactions between Earth surface processes, including physical, chemical and biological drivers, have led to the development and evolution of individual landforms and regional scale landscapes over a range of temporal and spatial scales. These geomorphic features record both current landforms and the geological record of past landscapes and provide an opportunity to investigate the geological records of Earth surface processes in relation to climatic and environmental change, including the interpretation and use such records to reconstruct landforms, landscapes and landscape evolution in their tectonic and climatic context. The unit will focus on how surface environments evolved over the last two to three million years, and critically, how they may change in the future. We will also look at the influences and core drivers of landscape evolution such as climate, tectonics, seismic and volcanic activity, vegetation and ecology, ice sheets and glaciers; and oceans and sea level.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Earth Science; Environmental Science; Marine Biology; Marine Science [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of both key scientific concepts concerning surface and near-surface environments and the geological processes operating in these settings; (2) apply geoscientific knowledge and practical skills to the characterisation of terrain systems, the resolution of problems related to dynamic geomorphology and climate, and/or the prediction of future behaviour marine, coastal and terrestrial landforms.; and (3) communicate to academic peers and general audiences the environmental template that landforms and landscapes provide for both human society and natural ecosystem and the impact future climate change may have on these geomorphic features.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratory work and practical exercises and (2) a project. 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 Mick O'Leary
Unit rules
Enrolment in
or HON-MARSC Marine Science
or HON-ENVSC Environmental Science
or 72550 Master of Geoscience
or 72540 Master of Hydrogeology
or 73540 Master of Petroleum Geoscience
or 71590 Master of Oceanography
or BH004 Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Advisable prior study
a Geology major or equivalent
Contact hours
Lectures and practical work. There may be a one-day field trip (TBC)
  • 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.