Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Fiona Hogan


This unit introduces students to the global environment and its basic natural systems. The fundamental structure and functioning of the natural systems is explored, emphasising the processes of living systems and their relationships with physical processes, including those associated with geology and climate. Major themes include the diversity and interrelationships of the biotic and abiotic components of the environment, the nature of environmental change, and human impacts on both biotic and abiotic components of natural systems. The level of study will range from local issues to regional and global impacts. The unit is taught by internal lectures, tutorials and fieldwork, and also by distance education.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the Earth's basic natural systems;

  1. Discuss the structure and functions of ecosystems, with particular emphasis on Australian systems;

  1. Discuss the diversity of plants and animals, and their relationships with their habitats;

  1. Discuss the processes of change of habitats, ecosystems and the global environment;

  1. Explain the evolution of Australian ecosystems;

  1. Discuss the impact of human activity on natural systems;

  1. Discuss the origins and impacts of a selection of current environmental problems, including local and global issues.


Three assignments: 45%
Examination (2 hours): 55%

Workload requirements

3 x 1-hour lectures per week and the equivalent of 2-3 hours of practical/tutorial/fieldwork per fortnight

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)