Bachelor of Science (Physical Geography and Environmental Geosciences)

General

Program Description

Course summary

Physical Geography and Environmental Geosciences is the study of patterns and processes in the environment caused by the forces of nature, with particular emphasis on their spatial arrangement, distribution and change over time. You will examine environmental and ecological problems facing the world and utilise your skills and knowledge to help address problems in innovative ways.

Employment opportunities as a graduate in physical geography and environmental geosciences are wide-ranging, across a broad range of sectors including government bodies, industry, and consultancy companies.

The Physical Geography and Environmental Geosciences major includes fieldwork, practical experience and research that takes advantage of the superb local marine life, coastal landscapes, nearby rainforest escarpment, and freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems unique to the Illawarra. You will learn a range of skills and techniques, including geochemistry and geochronology and application of the latest technologies in spatial sciences such as global positioning, geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (drones and earth observation satellites).

What you will study

In your first year, you will study a range of core subjects that will give you a broad understanding of Earth’s dynamic surface, and how the different spheres are interconnected while developing applied skills in modelling and geospatial analysis. In year two and three you will study a range of core subjects to gain more detailed knowledge and develop practical skills across the following areas:

  • Biogeography and environmental change
  • Changing global environments
  • Fluvial geomorphology and river management
  • Coastal processes and management
  • Advanced geospatial analysis
  • Geochemistry, Geochronology and Geophysics

A third-year capstone subject will serve as a culminating achievement of your degree experience, where you will use your knowledge and skills as you work to solve a challenging project. The flexibility of the course also offers a wide range of electives within and outside of the Faculty allowing you to tailor the course to your interests.

On completion, high performing students considering further study or a career in research should consider the Bachelor of Science (Honours) program. This one-year degree offers students a pathway to expanding their knowledge in physical geography and achieving their research aspirations.

Course Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes are statements of learning achievement that are expressed in terms of what the learner is expected to know, understand and be able to do upon completion of a course. Students graduating from this course will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of the principles and concepts associated with a specific discipline area of science.
  2. Demonstrate technical and cognitive skills in locating, discriminating and explaining information in relation to an area of science.
  3. Exercise critical thinking and problem-solving.
  4. Demonstrate how knowledge and skills in an area of science can be applied in scientific or scholarly works.
  5. Communicate clearly and coherently knowledge and ideas to others.

Course Structure

To qualify for an award of the degree, the Bachelor of Science, a candidate must successfully complete at least 144 credit points, as outlined below.

Please note:

  • Students who have not completed HSC Mathematics at Band 4 or higher (or equivalent) are required to complete a mathematics subject (MATH151 or equivalent), normally in the first year.
  • Students may only count 60 credit points of 100-level subjects towards the degree.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit points of 300-level subjects.
  • Students must have a grade of Pass (not Pass Supplementary) or higher in at least 24 credit points of 300-level core subjects which form part of a Science major.
  • The requirements for a Bachelor of Science can be met by completing a flexible major, which may be combined with a second major from another Faculty; or a prescribed major.

Course Structure

To qualify for award of the degree, the Bachelor of Science (Physical Geography and Environmental Geosciences), a candidate must successfully complete at least 144 credit points, in accordance with the table below.

Year 1

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
EESC101 Planet Earth 6 Autumn
EESC103 Earth's Dynamic Surface 6 Autumn
EESC102 Earth's Interconnected Spheres 6 Spring
EESC105 Introductory Geospatial Analysis 6 Autumn, Spring

Total for major at Year 1: 24 credit points

Recommended Electives

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
MATH151 General Mathematics 1A 6 Autumn, Summer 2019/2020
SCIE103 Climate Change 6 Spring
GEOG122 Human Geography: Living in a Material World 6 Spring
GEOG123 Indigenous Geographies: Questioning Country 6 Spring

Year 2

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
EESC203 Biogeography and Environmental Change 6 Autumn
EESC207 Advanced Geospatial Analysis 6 Autumn, Spring
EESC202 Shaping Earth's Surface 6 Spring
EESC209 G-cubed: Geochemistry, Geochronology, Geophysics 6 Spring

Total for major at Year 2: 24 credit points

Recommended Electives

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
EESC250 Field Geography 6 Summer 2019/2020
EESC201 Earth Inferno 6 Autumn
GEOG222 Society and Environment: Resources, Challenges, Futures 6 Spring
GEOG231 Maps and Apps for Social Scientists 6 Spring

Year 3^

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
EESC320 Capstone:Earth and Environmental Sciences 6 Spring
EESC323 Fluvial Geomorphology and Sedimentology 6 Autumn
EESC322 Coastal Environments: Process and Management 6 Spring
EESC331 Changing Global Environments 6 Spring

Total for major at Year 2: 24 credit points

Recommended Electives

Subject Code Subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
EESC321 Plate Tectonics, Macrotopography and Earth History 6 Autumn
EESC328 Dung, Death and Decay: Modern scientific methods in archaeology 6 Autumn
EESC332 Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Palaeoenvironments 6 Autumn
GEOG337 Policy for Environmental and Heritage Management 6 Spring
EESC326 Resources and Environments 6 Spring

Total for major: 72 credit points
Plus elective subjects chosen from the Science or General Schedules: 72 credit points
Degree Total: 144 credit points

Why choose this course

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills in Australia is becoming a fast-growing area creating new and increased job prospects. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services is projected to increase by 10.2% from 2018 to 2023 reflecting ongoing strength in demand for the services of qualified and highly educated workers. Source: Employment Projections

Working in science requires real-world practical skills and contemporary knowledge. At UOW we're committed to 'inquiry-based learning' that teaches you to constantly seek out knowledge, analyse it and apply it in your chosen profession. We integrate technology into all our learning and teaching to ensure that you graduate equipped to excel in a constantly changing and technologically advanced world.

You will participate in practical classes in our new purpose-built Sciences Teaching Facility or out in the field, ensuring that you have the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of tomorrow's employers. Our courses are taught by professionals who are world-leading researchers so the skills and knowledge you acquire can be applied to real-world challenges today and in the future.

Career opportunities

  • Research Officer
  • Heritage Officer
  • Policy/Project Officer
  • Hydrologist
  • Tourism and Recreation Planner
  • Geospatial Intelligence Officer
  • Market Researcher
  • Cartographer
  • Climatologist
  • Ranger
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • International Aid Officer

Admission Requirements

A range of admission options are available for students of all ages and academic backgrounds. The procedures governing admission are defined in UOW's Admissions Procedures and the UOW College Admissions policy.

For any specific advice or questions regarding an application, please contact the Future Students Team.

Credit for Prior Learning

If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for our subjects through prior learning, such as previous tertiary or TAFE qualifications, you may be eligible for credit towards your degree. Where relevant to the UOW degree, specified credit may be given for specific subject(s); where not relevant to the degree, unspecified credit may be awarded.

English Requirements for international students

The following level of English is required to gain admission to this program:

IELTS Academic

  • Overall Score: 6.0
  • Reading: 6.0
  • Writing: 6.0
  • Listening: 6.0
  • Speaking: 6.0

TOEFL (Internet-based)

  • Overall Score: 70
  • Reading: 18
  • Writing: 18
  • Listening: 17
  • Speaking: 17

UOW College: English for Tertiary Studies: Credit (weighted average mark of 50 overall and minimum 50 in Academic Reading and Writing)

Other qualifications may also be considered. Full details can be found on our English Language Requirements website.

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

In just 40 years, University of Wollongong has become a benchmark for Australia’s new generation of universities; dynamic, agile, innovative and prominent in national and international rankings for th ... Read More

In just 40 years, University of Wollongong has become a benchmark for Australia’s new generation of universities; dynamic, agile, innovative and prominent in national and international rankings for the quality of our teaching and research. The University began as an institute for the then the New South Wales University of Technology, Sydney at a single location in Wollongong. Since gaining independence in 1975, UOW has grown into an international multi-campus University, expanding to occupy two Sydney campuses and five regional campuses, as well as locations in Hong Kong and Dubai. With now over 36,000 students, more than 2,400 staff, and an economic impact of around $2 billion in activity annually, UOW is an influential part of its communities and the catalyst for Wollongong’s transformation into a University city. Read less
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