The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course introduces students to geomaterials and their origin. It describes the context in which geomaterials are formed, transformed and commonly occur. Particular attention is given to the occurrence of materials in the near surface environment and the conditions and processes which occur there. The physical principles which prevail in natural processes and systems are established and emphasised.

Availability2019 Course Timetables

BCA Singapore


    • Semester 2 - 2020

    Learning outcomes

    On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

    1. Describe the geological processes responsible for making rocks from soil, and soil from rocks.

    2. Differentiate, identify, describe and classify soils, sedimentary rocks, igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks.

    3. Recall the structure and composition of the Earth and explain the processes which shape continents, produce earthquakes and impart fabric and structure to rocks.

    4. Understand the basic spatial forms and relationships between rock interpret spatial relationships and extrapolate simple surface outcrop patterns.

    5. Describe the basic interactions between water and geomaterials in the near-surface geologic environment.

    6. Explain the fundamental physical processes involving geomaterials and water with appropriate appreciation of the basic laws of physics and chemistry.

    7. Relate geomaterial properties and geologic/hydrogeologic processes to practical engineering situations.


    • Characteristics of the earth surface environment
    • Basis of water cycle, rainfall, runoff, infiltration, evaporation, transpiration
    • Introduction to geological materials and processes
    • Structural geology
    • Introduction to tectonics and seismology
    • Coal and coal deposits
    • Groundwater and hydrogeology
    • Spatial data, cross-sections, surface and subsurface maps and GIS
    • Mass balance and energy balance
    • Geological uncertainties

    Assumed knowledge

    Basic Secondary School Science

    Assessment items

    Quiz: Weekly Online Quizzes

    Written Assignment: Field Trip Report

    In Term Test: Practical Exam

    Quiz: Reading Exercise Quiz

    Formal Examination: Final Exam

    Compulsory Requirements

    In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

    General Course Requirements:

    • Field Study: Attendance Requirement - Students must attend a minimum number of these sessions. - Students must attend the excursion.

    Pre-Placement Requirements:

    • WHS Requirement - Students must complete a Workplace Safety Induction or Risk Assessment. - Students must attend a particular session. Students must complete and and pass an online WH & S site induction module in Blackboard before being allowed to attend the excursion.

    Contact hours

    BCA Singapore and Callaghan

    Field Study

    Face to Face Off Campus 4 hour(s) per Term Full Term

    The excursion is the best opportunity to contextualise the course material by entering a real-world situation and interpreting the theory of the course in a practical setting.


    Face to Face On Campus 2.5 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1

    Attendance at lectures is expected


    Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 1