Oceans, Coasts and Climate Change

University of Sydney

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Oceans, Coasts and Climate Change

  • Host University

    University of Sydney

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Climatology/Meteorology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Natural Sciences, Oceanography

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    48 credit points, including
    GEOG1001 or GEOL1001 or GEOL1002 or GEOS1003 or GEOS1903 or ENVI1002 or GEOL1902 or GEOL1501

  • 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

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This unit of study introduces core concepts about how the formation of ocean basins and their influence on climate govern the development of coasts and continental margins. These concepts provide a framework for understanding the geographic variation of coasts, continental shelves and sediment accumulations in the deep ocean. Ocean-basin evolution is explained in terms of movements within the Earth's interior and how these movements determine the geometry of ocean basins, and their alpine counterparts, which interact with the global circulation of the ocean and atmosphere. This interaction plays a key role in marine sedimentation and controls the environmental conditions responsible for the development of coral reefs and other ecosystems. The Unit of Study systematically outlines how these factors have played out to produce, by gradual change, the coasts we see today, as well as the less familiar deposits hidden beneath the sea and coastal lands. The Unit thereby outlines how knowledge of responses to climate change in the past allow us to predict environmental responses to accelerated climate change occurring now and in the future due to the industrial greenhouse effect, but places these responses into perspective against the geological record. Overall therefore, the Unit aims to provide familiarity with fundamental phenomena central to the study of marine geoscience and environmental impacts, introduced through process-oriented explanations. The Unit of Study is structured around GIS-based practical sessions and problem-based project work, for which lectures provide the theoretical background.

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.