Available in 2018

Course handbook


Understanding Earth provides an introduction to Earth Science systems. It introduces the disciplines of Geology, Physical Geography and Environmental Science and affords a better understanding of Earth and those processes which have operated in the past and still operate to produce the planet as we know it. The subject matter and assessment accommodates a range of learning styles. The course provides both a sound basis on which to proceed to undergraduate studies in the Earth and Environmental Sciences as well as general knowledge and skills for those planning to continue their study in other areas of Science, Technology and Education.



  • Semester 1 - 2018


  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate written skills to a level suitable for undergraduate entry.

2. Exercise critical and analytical skills.

3. Demonstrate competency in individual research.

4. Produce assignments to a level suitable for undergraduate entry.

5. Utilise problem solving abilities.

6. Integrate concepts introduced in lectures and their application to actual examples.

7. Work systematically in order to explain geological features observed in the field in terms of their significance, how they formed and how they relate to broad concepts of geological science.

8. Write a report using information gained in the field to show students' interpretive ability and literacy skills.

9. Organise and write answers in a limited time and address examination questions.


The course includes coverage of the following topics:

  1. the Earth as a planet.
  2. continental drift and plate tectonics.
  3. earthquakes.
  4. volcanic activity.
  5. rock forming minerals.
  6. igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic processes and products.
  7. fossils, evolution and geological time.


This course is only available to students who are active in the Open Foundation Program or the Yapug Program.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Written Assignment: Assignment 3

Quiz: Weekly Quiz

Formal Examination: Final Examination

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 8 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 11 Weeks



Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 5 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Face2Face Day x 2