Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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Unit Overview


The coastal zone is home to a majority of the world's population yet contains some of the most dynamic landforms based on interactions between the land and sea across a wide range of time and space scales. The dynamic nature of the coastal zone, and the intersection with human activity, has resulted in coastal areas hosting a range of management challenges from coastal erosion to poor water quality. Addressing these challenges and developing resilient coastal communities requires an in-depth understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes operating in coastal areas. In this unit students will develop an understanding of the processes occurring in the coastal zone and how this knowledge is translated into predictive tools through the development of numerical models. Students will learn to develop simple numerical models to predict processes ranging from wave transformation to estuary flushing times. With an understanding of the numerical implementation of physical and biogeochemical processes, students will then apply advanced numerical models, the same as used in research and industry, to investigate a range of processes and case studies.

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

Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of the core physical and bio-geochemical processes shaping coastal and estuarine environments; (2) demonstrate knowledge of the underlying frameworks of different models applied in the coastal zone; (3) demonstrate the ability to develop simple numerical models that predict processes occurring in the coastal zone; and (4) demonstrate the ability to apply an advanced numerical models in the coastal zone.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) problem set; (2) presentation; and (3) final 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)
Associate Professor Jeff Hansen
Unit rules
Enrolment in
71590 Master of Oceanography
or 62570 Master of Offshore and Coastal Engineering
Contact hours
4 hour workshops per 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.