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 marine realm hosts a complex set of physical and chemical processes ranging from the shallow water coastal zone, continental shelves and slopes and the deep ocean. Understanding these complex processes, and their interactions with biological systems, in a tectonic and climatic context is critical for the health of coasts and marine resources. This unit introduces students to the structure and evolution of continental shelves and ocean basins through the study of past climate, sea levels, ocean currents, and sedimentary processes. The unit emphasises the integration of geoscientific datasets including shallow seismic, multibeam, satellite, and airborne lidar to investigate marine ecosystems and depositional environments, and to reconstruct submerged paleolandscapes. The unit will also introduce various types of proxies used to in climate reconstruction, and geochronological approaches in dating geomorphic features and shallow sedimentary strata. The unit also emphasises application of modern physical processes to reconstructing Quaternary environments as well as future prediction of changes in Earth's oceans and the coastal interface.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) describe how the structure and bathymetry of ocean basins controls physical and chemical processes from the coastal zone to deep ocean.; (2) gather and analyse sedimentological, paleontological, geophysical and geochemical data from modern marine environments; (3) reconstruct paleooceanographic and paleoclimatic history through integration of geoscientific datasets; and (4) communicate results, interpretations and conclusions via relevant graphical, oral and/or written summaries.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) online quizzes; (2) practical exercises; and (3) written reports. 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
73540 Master of Petroleum Geoscience
or 71590 Master of Oceanography
Contact hours
2 x 4 hours workshops per week for 6 weeks
  • 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.