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.

Availability2020 Course Timetables

BCA Singapore

  • Semester 2 - 2020


  • 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: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - 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