The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Australia's marine environment is globally significant, containing some of the world's most diverse ecosystems and species. The economic value of Australia's marine environment exceeds A$30 billion annually and its social value (for sport, recreation, relaxation) is immense in Australia's culture. This course provides students with an introduction to the marine environment, to some of the most important marine ecosystems (coral reefs, beaches, rocky reefs), and current conservation and management issues (climate change, pollution, overfishing, and marine protected areas), and their solutions. The course will be taught through on-line delivery of learning materials.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020
  • Semester 2 - 2020
  • Summer 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. describe the physical marine environment, including the seafloor, oceanography and climate

2. describe key Australian marine ecosystems and species and their significance

3. recognise the social, economic and environmental benefits from sustainable use of Australia's marine environment

4. describe the current issues for the Australian marine environment and their social, economic and environmental costs


Module 1: Principles of Marine Biology and Ecology

  • Diversity of Australia's marine life
  • Diversity of Australia's marine ecosystems
  • Oceanography and currents
  • Introduction to the value (economic, social) of Australia's marine environment

 Module 2: Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

  • Coral reefs
  • Beaches
  • Estuaries, seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh
  • Rocky reefs (subtidal and intertidal)

 Module 3: Issues, Challenges, Responses (may include)

  • Sustainable fisheries
  • Climate change
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Marine Aquaculture

Assessment items

Quiz: Quizzes

Written Assignment: Written Assignment

Online Learning Activity: Group Discussion

Compulsory Requirements

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

General Course Requirements:

  • Self-Directed Learning: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to particpate in this course students must complete a compulsory safety induction

Contact hours


Self-Directed Learning

Online 120 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Hours per week will vary depending on whether the course is run in semester 1 or 2 or as a compressed summer term. The total number of hours per term remains the same.