Courses & Units

Understanding Earth Systems KEA101




In this unit, we will explore the nature of the Earth: its minerals, its rocks, its internal layering, and the record of the way the Earth has changed from its formation. We will examine the processes that drive our planet: from its deep interior to the outer surface. We will explore mountains and the deepest oceans to reveal the shape of our world. We will introduce you to why the oceans host the youngest rocks on Earth, how the Earth’s continent are formed, how some rocks are entirely made from dead animals and plants, how mountains are destroyed by erosion, what causes earthquakes, and how volcanic eruptions work. In our practicals, we will teach you to read the message in the rocks. Two field excursions will provide you with the basic skills to create a geological map and recognise the main rocks forming Tasmania. You will learn to unlock the knowledge hidden in minerals and the view the wonders of the past recorded in a grain of sand. You will see the landscape with new eyes and be challenged to apply your new skills outside the classroom.


Unit name Understanding Earth Systems
Unit code KEA101
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Earth Sciences

Dr Karin Orth

Teaching staff

Level Introductory
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2018 23/3/2018 16/4/2018 3/6/2018

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2018 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2018 will be available from the 1st October 2017.

About Census Dates



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
2 2018: $1,148.00 2018: $2,126.00 010703

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

3 x 1-hr lecture, 1 x 3-hr lab weekly (13 wks), 1 day of excursions


Continuous practical assessment (20%), Field skills (10%), Regular quizzes (10%), Practical exam(s) (10%), Final 2-hr theory exam (50%).

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Information about textbook requirements is available in the Unit Outline


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