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 ocean provides many opportunities for sustainable development but is negatively impacted by some human activities. These problems and opportunities are complex and finding the solutions involves collaboration across fields such as science, engineering, psychology, economics, law and international relations. This unit introduces students to the value of working across disciplines, broadening boundaries of knowledge and methodologies, and developing new insights and problem solving skills. Key issues are explored including communication and terminological differences, the scientific method, legal problem solving and research methodologies. The unit examines the concepts of multi-, inter-, cross- and trans-disciplinarity and how they can be applied to address the many challenges facing the oceans. Using a combination of approaches, students learn to work in teams drawn from different fields, and how to apply different disciplinary approaches and ways of thinking to current issues of local and global importance. Ultimately, this unit enables students to assess a line of enquiry in the context of ocean leadership and navigate towards a solution, using critical thinking across a wide range of disciplines.

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

Students are able to (1) demonstrate a clear understanding of the meaning of multi-, inter-, cross- and trans-disciplinarity in the context of ocean leadership; (2) evaluate an ocean-based issue and identify the range of disciplinary approaches that may be used to resolve complex problems; (3) critically assess the need to employ an approach involving multiple disciplines and practically apply such an approach; (4) understand and identify the appropriate ways in which to work in a multi-disciplinary context taking into account opportunities and challenges; (5) employ new tools, methodologies and knowledge to ocean-based problems and differentiate between local, regional and global solutions; and (6) synthesise, critically appraise and distil information from a range of disciplines and clearly present this information to an informed audience.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) group exercises; (2) critical appraisal of case studies; 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)
Dr Maryam Abdolahpour
Unit rules
prior approval of unit coordinator
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
3-day/ 2-night field camp in Albany – includes food, accommodation. (estimated cost - 330).
Contact hours
lectures and turorials: 65 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.