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SLE102 - Physical Geography


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne)
Credit point(s):1
Previously coded as:


EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Mark Warne




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

3 x 1 hour class per week, 4 x 2 hour practicals per trimester.


This unit will examine interactions between the major components of planet Earth - the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. A particular emphasis is placed on the study of natural disasters and extreme natural events.  Major topics will include the formation and subsequent evolution of the earth; plate tectonics; soils, weathering and erosion; the hydrological cycle - including interactions between oceans, rivers, groundwater and polar ice: Earth weather.  Minor topics will include studies in the origin of the universe and solar system; the relationship between earth landforms and climate, global environmental change and the earth's energy and mineral resources.



These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit

At the completion of this Unit
successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Develop a model of the Earth involving interactions of broad physical and biological subsystems, and describe at a basic level the geoscientific characteristics (geologic, hydrologic, atmospheric / climatic) of natural habitats and ecosystems

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking


Describe the origin and history of the physical Earth, and interpret at a basic level
the geo-histories of different physical landscapes

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Identify the major reservoirs of water on Earth and link them through the hydrological cycle

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Identify basic geological materials and develop a baseline knowledge of physical geology

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO6: Self-management


Identify and describe at a basic level the geoscientific aspects of physical and social environmental problems

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Describe and evaluate the major types of geological hazards and physical natural disasters that impact mankind and the natural environment

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO6: Self-management

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Weighting (% total mark for unit) Indicative due week
Online practical quizzes  Two 50-minute online quizzes 20% (2 x 10%) Weeks 5 and 10
Class tests  Two multiple choice and written answer tests 60% (2 x 30%) Weeks 6 and 11
Essay 750-1,000 word written essay 20% Week 8

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

Prescribed text(s): Skinner, 2011, Blue Planet - Binder Ready Version, 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons.

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: SLE102 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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