Courses & Units

Planet Earth KEA101

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Planet Earth has been shaped over 4.5 billion years by ever-changing dynamic processes. These processes can help us to understand how the Earth formed, has evolved, and will continue to change, from its deep internal structure to its more familiar outer surface. In this unit, we will scale the highest mountains and plunge into the deepest oceans in our quest to better understand the driving forces that shape the world we know today. In the practicals, you will learn to read the messages encoded in rocks and minerals which provide clues on how different Earth environments have evolved over millions and billions of years – and what these tell us about the future of our planet. You will learn to see the landscape with new eyes and be challenged to apply your skills in through field-based activities. KEA101 is a required unit in the Earth Sciences major and prerequisite for the study of Earth Science units at second year level. This unit is suitable for general science and arts students with an interest in the workings of Planet Earth.


Unit name Planet Earth
Unit code KEA101
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Earth Sciences
Coordinator Professor Sebastien Meffre
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Introductory


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


International students
Domestic students

Please check that your computer meets the minimum System Requirements if you are attending via Distance/Off-Campus.

Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* 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 (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe scientific theories relevant to the workings of the Earth and other planets.
  • Identify and explain how Earth processes form the world around us.
  • Collect, analyse, and interpret geological data using a variety of field and lab-based techniques.
  • Integrate geological information/data sets to explain the evolution of Earth environments.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.


Teaching Pattern

On campus students:

1 x 1-hr tutorial weekly (13 weeks), 3-hr lab weekly (12 weeks), fieldwork – one 3 hr and one  6 hr field excursion in Hobart

Off campus students:

1 x 1-hr online tutorial (13 weeks), 3-hr lab weekly (12 weeks) – self-directed learning with online assistance available during weekly scheduled practical timeslots, fieldwork – one 3 hr and one 6 hr virtual field excursion (with optional in-person attendance available either in Hobart or Launceston)

For all students - lectures will be available online.

AssessmentExcursion (10%)|Lecture quizzes (10%)|Practical tests (10%)|Practicals (30%)|Final Exam (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Marshak, Stephen. EARTH, Portrait of a Planet. 6th Edition. Wiley Press.

Laboratory Manual for KEA101


Grotzinger JP & Jordan TH., 2014, Understanding Earth, 7th Edition

Monroe J.S and Wicander R., 2013, The Changing Earth – Exploring Geology and Evolution (earlier editions) 

Lisle, R, J., Brabham, P., and Barnes J., 2011  Basic Geological Mapping (5th ed): John Wiley & Sons, 217 p 

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.