Courses & Units

Geodesy: Observing Our Changing Planet KGG307



Geodesy is the study of the Earth's dynamic shape, size, and gravitational field. Modern space geodetic observations underpin not only our ability to determine precise location on Earth and in orbit, but a broad number of scientific fields that address questions of direct societal relevance; the study of regional and global changes in mean sea level, quantifying changes to polar ice caps, determining the velocity of tectonic plates, measurement of surface deformation associated with geo-hazards and understanding changes in hydrology based on time variable gravity and associated ground deformation.

The unit is comprised of 4 problem-based modules that each address a particular application of geodetic science in understanding our dynamic planet. In completing the learning modules, students will learn about the modern geodetic observation techniques including GNSS, VLBI, SLR, altimetry and space gravity. The practical component of the unit provides students with hands-on experience in analysing real-world data to investigate processes including sea level change, climate signals, glacial motion, plate tectonics and earth deformation.


Unit name Geodesy: Observing Our Changing Planet
Unit code KGG307
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
Coordinator Doctor Christopher Watson
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


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 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* 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 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the use of geodetic observations to observe, understand and monitor Earth processes.
  • Explain modern geodetic observation techniques.
  • Analyse geodetic data to investigate changes in a range of Earth processes.
  • Communicate the results of geodetic analyses.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
031101 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,938.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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Teaching Pattern

1 x 1 hour lecture per week.

1 x 3 hour practical per week. 

AssessmentQuizzes (x5) (20%)|Exam (35%)|Practical Reports (x3) (45%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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