Environmental Science Concepts and Methods

University of Newcastle

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Environmental Science Concepts and Methods

  • Host University

    University of Newcastle

  • Location

    Newcastle, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Replacing Course(s)

    This course replaces the following course(s): ENVS1060. Students who have successfully completed ENVS1060 are not eligible to enrol in ENVS1001.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview


    Environmental Science attempts to explain how life on Earth is sustained, what contributes to our many environmental problems, and how these problems can be solved. Environmental Science & Management stands at the interface between humans and the Earth and explores the interactions and relations between them. This course introduces students to a number of the basic multidisciplinary concepts which are fundamental to understanding these interrelationships. The course also introduces students to methods which Environmental Scientists use in monitoring, measuring and assessing environmental variables. The course develops a firm understanding of scientific principles as applied to these variables and the topics covered provide the necessary grounding for continuing studies in the Environmental Sciences.

    Learning Outcomes

    1. Core and fundamental knowledge of environmental concepts and methods appropriate to all majors of the Bachelor of Environmental Science & Management program;

    2. Experience in the monitoring, measurement and assessment of environmental variables;

    3. Competency in the methods used for sample and specimen collection, field observation, recording, laboratory techniques and experimental design;

    4. The ability to manipulate data, interpret trends, analyse and communicate results associated with the measurement of environmental variables;

    5. An understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of Environmental Science.


    Topics will be selected from:

    Introduction to the interdisciplinary nature of Environmental Science;
    Fundamental issues associated with its study: sound science, sustainability and stewardship;
    Water & Biogeochemical cycles - why they are essential to long term life on earth;
    Environmental variables, their monitoring, measurement and assessment, SI units and the Scientific Method, hypothesis testing;
    Sample and specimen collection, sampling strategies, field observation and skills, fundamental laboratory techniques and the design of experiments;
    Basic data manipulation, interpretation, analysis and communication of results;
    Introduction to the Biophysical Environment - weathering and soil formation;
    Water Pollution and Water Quality Monitoring;
    Earth's Atmosphere & Climate, Air Quality and Pollution, Anthropogenic Global Warming and Climate Change;
    Fate of Contaminants, Environmental Health and Toxicology;
    Waste Management and the Environment;
    Interpretation of Environmental Standards and Use of Environmental Data in State of the Environment Reporting.

    Assessment Items

    Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Practical exercises in the lab and field Written assignments based on practical activities *

    Formal Examination: Formal Examination *

    Quiz: On-line Quizzes

    Compulsory Requirements

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

    General Course Requirements:

    Practical: Attendance Requirement - Students must attend a minimum number of these sessions. - Students undertaking this course are required to demonstrate practical and theoretical competency by attending a minimum of 80% of the scheduled laboratory/practical sessions.

    Practical: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

    Course Assessment Requirements:

    Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.

    Formal Examination: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.

    Contact Hours


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


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

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.