Courses & Units

Soil Science KLA397



This unit is offered in even years.


This unit in soil science aims to develop students’ ability to understand key soil physical and chemical properties and processes, and their ability to relate these to soil management in agriculture.

The unit is taught in two sections; (i) Soil Chemistry - which focuses on weathering and clay formation, clay chemistry, cation exchange, acidity (pH), oxidation – reduction, the nitrogen cycle and organic matter. (ii) Soil Physics – which focuses on soil structure, porosity, water flow and storage in soils, and catchment hydrology.

Practical sessions will demonstrate key soil properties and processes, and practice measurement, analysis and management response to a limited range of soil properties.
At the end of this unit candidates should be able to sample, analyse and interpret basic soil tests and relate basic soil properties to their development and function in soil.


Unit name Soil Science
Unit code KLA397
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Discipline Agriculture and Food Systems
Coordinator Mr Marcus Hardie
Teaching staff Associate Professor Richard Doyle
Available as student elective? Yes
Delivered By Delivered wholly by the provider
Level Advanced


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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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 2 11/7/2022 9/8/2022 29/8/2022 16/10/2022

* 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 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Measure accurately key soil chemical and physical soils properties in the field and laboratory
  • Use soil data to inform land use, agriculture management constraints and sustainability
  • Explain key soil physical and chemical processes and how they influence soil properties and management.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
010709 $1,002.00 $1,002.00 not applicable $2,354.00
  • Available as a Commonwealth Supported Place
  • HECS-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility3
  • FEE-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility4

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
3 Please refer here for eligibility for HECS-HELP
4 Please refer here for eligibility for FEE-HELP

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

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



(Admission into a Masters course) OR ((KLA213 - Soil Formation, Function and Fertility OR KEA101 - Understanding Earth Systems OR KNE273 - Engineering Geology and Soil Mechanics))


Teaching Pattern

2 x 50 minute lectures weekly, 1 x 3-hr practical weekly

AssessmentQuizzes (5%)|Examination (45%)|Soil Physics Report (25%)|Soil Chemistry Report (25%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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


Bohn, F, McNeal, B and O’Connor, G. (2001). Soil Chemistry – 3rd Edition, John Wiley and Sons Publishers

McLaren, R.M. and K.C. Cameron (1996). Soil science: sustainable production and environmental protection. Published by Oxford University Press, 304p.

Soil Physical Measurement and Interpretation for Land Evaluation, Australian Soil and Land Survey Handbooks Series 5. CSIRO Publishing

Irrigation Association (2011) Irrigation - 6th edition. Fall Church, Vancover

Rainer Horn, Roger Horton, Stephan Peth, (2016) Essential Soil Physics. An Introduction to Soil Processes, Functions, Structure and Mechanics. CSIRO publishing

Hilell, D. (1998) Environmental Soil Physics: Fundamentals, Applications, and Environmental Considerations. Academic Press.

Shukla, M. K., (2014) Soil Physics and Introduction,. CRC press: Boca Raton

Price, G (2006). Australian Soil Fertility Manual – 3rd Edition, Fertiliser Industry Federation of Australia and CSIRO Publishing

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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