Studying online

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Unit Overview


The ocean energy sector has historically been a strong contributor to the Australian economy. This unit will equip students with the necessary knowledge and tools to (i) identify and characterise the range of different ocean energy resources and their connection to other oceans activities, (ii), analyse and demonstrate the needs for a transition to renewable energy, and (iii) establish the preliminary elements of engineering solutions required to address ocean energy challenges.

The unit will cover all ocean energy resources within the Australian and worldwide context and will strongly focus on ocean renewable energy (wave, tidal and offshore wind) and other future energy sources (such as hydrogen and marine biofuels).

The unit will provide an overview of the building blocks for harnessing ocean energy resources, the stages of the life cycle from conception to decommissioning and the complex multi-disciplinary nature of offshore renewable energy projects. The feasibility and development as well as the construction and commissioning stages in particular offer opportunities to develop an overview understanding of science and engineering considerations related to offshore renewable energy projects. Aspects such as economics, environmental assessments and regulatory frameworks will be included in case studies

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Marine Science major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) describe the evolution of ocean energy and the transition to renewable energy; (2) demonstrate an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of ocean energy projects and their connectivity to other oceans activities and processes; (3) critically analyse the engineering aspects of ocean energy projects; (4) use the understanding of resources, market, ocean processes and ocean environment to make recommendation for ocean energy projects; and (5) demonstrate an enquiring, critical and creative approach to ocean energy projects.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class assessment (quizzes and participation); (2) individual assignment; and (3) group presentation and assignment. 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 Britta Bienen
Contact hours
  • 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.