Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit focuses on the fracture and deformation of rocks, rock joints and rock masses; the scale effect in rock strength; failure associated with underground and surface excavations; foundations on rock; dynamics; rock breakage and comminution; and regional stability and local stability issues for underground mines, rock bursts and mine fill. It also includes slope stability principles and applications in weathered and jointed rock. Students use simple mathematical models and mathematical software (Excel, Mathcad) for the evaluation of mining-induced stress concentrations and estimate the stability of simple rock engineering structures.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2OnlineOnline Restricted

Students are able to (1) estimate rock and rock mass properties ; (2) use e stereo-nets; (3) explain the mechanisms of deformation and failure in rocks and rock masses; (4) describe the mechanics of basic rock breakage methods and their application; (5) describe the nature of in situ stress fields and select appropriate methods of its determination; (6) develop simple models of stress concentrations induced by excavations; and (7) choose the mining methods relevant to the given geotechnical conditions.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) laboratories (group); and (3) a final examination. 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)
Professor Arcady Dyskin
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Professional Engineering (Mining Engineering specialisation)
Advisable prior study
ENSC3004 Solid Mechanics, ENSC3009 Geomechanics
and ENSC3011 Fundamentals of Mining Engineering (formerly Resource Extraction Technologies)
  • 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.