Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Environmental Science is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding and solving the interactions between humans and the Earth. This course introduces students to a number of the basic physical and chemical environmental systems which are fundamental to understanding these interrelationships. The course investigates the scientific principles relevant to energy and energy resources as well as the role chemistry plays in our understanding of the natural environment and the influence of human activities.



  • Semester 2 - 2022


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Summarise the physical and chemical characteristics of environmental systems

2. Describe the different energy sources and explain the costs and benefits in an environmental context

3. Compare the different renewable and non-renewable energy resources and their associated impacts

4. Describe key chemical processes of the hydrosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere

5. Demonstrate competency in the analysis of physical and chemical properties of environmental systems


1. Thermodynamics: thermal energy, heat transfer and efficiency in the generation of electricity

2. Renewable energy sources: comparison of modes and technological factors influencing development

3. Non-renewable energy sources: management of waste and environmental impacts, transport

4.  Chemical aspects of nutrient cycling, energy and waste production and climate change

5. Fundamentals of chemistry in the hydrosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere

6. The role of chemistry in environmental studies


Students cannot enrol in this course if they have successfully completed PHYS2300.

Assumed knowledge

ENVS1001 and MATH1001

Assessment items

Quiz: Regular Online Quizzes

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Exercises

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Compulsory Requirements

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

General Course Requirements:

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

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Term Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.