Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course will introduce students to the study of coastal and marine geoscience. The major topics will include coastal environments and processes, coastal management, and field based investigations. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the coast and the hazards and risks within coastal environments as well as how these issues impact on coastal management. The course will be structured around field trips, lectures, and laboratories.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify and interpret the geomorphological features present in coastal environments;

2. Describe the processes relevant to coastal environments and assess how the processes shape the geomorphology;

3. Explain and apply principles of, and techniques used in coastal management;

4. Collect, analyse, and interpret field and experimental data from the coastal zone;

5. Use team-based skills including problem solving and critical thinking to collect and collate data, obtain research outcomes and conclusions;

6. Communicate effectively in both oral and written forms.


 GEOS3220 covers the advanced components of coastal geomorphology, oceanography, and coastal management. Topics covered in the course will include:

1.        An understanding of the coastal region in the broader global oceanographic context.

2.        The geomorphological components of the coastal zone including beach-dune-barrier, estuarine, delta, and coral reef systems.

3.        The key processes relevant to coastal systems and the importance of the processes in shaping the geomorphology.

4.        The basic principles of coastal management, causes of the need for coastal management, and basic management techniques.

5.        Links between the geomorphology and the processes in a morphodynamic context.

6.        Methods and techniques used to collect, analyse, and interpret field and experimental data in the coastal zone.

 In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Workplace Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory course component in the course outline provided by the School. This course also has a compulsory field component that is run in February, prior to the start of Semester 1. The field trip requires an up-front fee not covered by HECS that may vary with each offering of the course. Interested students should contact the School of Environmental and Life Sciences for more information.

Assumed knowledge

GEOS1040 or GEOS1050 or ENVS1001 or MARI1000 and GEOS2161.

Assessment items

Exhibition / Poster: Poster Presentation

Quiz: Quizzes - Class

Written Assignment: Field Report 2

Report: Field Report 1

Log / Workbook: Field Notebook

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 45 hour(s) per Term Full Term

This includes field laboratories and computer laboratories conducted during an intensive field trip.


Face to Face Off Campus 16 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Lectures will be held during the field trip

Online Activity

Online 10 hour(s) per Term Full Term

The field study (inc labs and lectures) and some online learning exercises will be run in February prior to the start of semester 1. Students will need to make themselves available during this time in order to complete the course.

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.