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


Ocean hazards can have devastating impacts on coasts and their communities leading to lasting and damaging effects on the coastal landscape—causing long-term coastal erosion—and on marine ecosystems. They can also result in massive costs to human health, cultures and the livelihoods of coastal communities. These hazards include natural physical phenomena such as storm systems (tropical and extra-tropical cyclones, tsunamis, mean sea level rise, rip currents); natural biological phenomena such as red tides (harmful algal blooms); and anthropogenic influences such as ocean debris (e.g. plastics), coastal discharges and oil spills. This unit covers the processes that lead to these hazards including their prediction, and explores different mitigation and planning options.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Not available in 2024OnlineOnline timetabled

Students are able to (1) demonstrate a basic knowledge of a range of ocean hazards their origin and mitigation options; (2) display a sophisticated understanding of the influence of ocean on law and policy, marine management and coastal planning; (3) critically analyse and make recommendations for further research needed to address ocean hazard management; (4) demonstrate an enquiring, critical and creative approach to understanding and managing ocean hazards; and (5) demonstrate an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of ocean hazards and its interconnectedness with the biological and social sciences.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class assessments; (2) project; and (3) presentation. 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 Charitha Pattiaratchi
  • 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.