• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Chemistry, Environmental Science, Sustainable Engineering
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr James Latimer
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

This course will provide students with the skills and knowledge to understand and explain the complex biogeochemical cycles that drive environmental systems and processes. The course will provide a foundation in modern environmental chemistry, exploring interactions between the hydrosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. Students will apply this knowledge to land management decision making across a range of contexts, including agriculture, mining, contaminated land remediation, native vegetation systems, and urban design. The course includes laboratory and field-based components, giving students practical experience in environmental sampling and analysis. Building upon these foundational topics, the course will investigate the chemical behaviour of polluting compounds and explore their partitioning within the environment. Students will develop skills valued in an array of professions, including environmental sample collection and preservation, laboratory analysis techniques, field testing, and applying conceptual environmental models. Students will be able to draw on course materials that provide diverse gender, cultural, and geographical perspectives on these topics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand and explain the chemical and biogeochemical cycles that drive environmental systems and processes.
  2. Understand and analyse the energy and material flow between various environmental systems and processes.
  3. Explain the interaction and dependency between biogeochemical, biological, and chemical processes in the air, water and soil and the impacts of pollutants on these systems and processes.
  4. Identify and differentiate between various kinds of environmental pollutants and their treatment methods.
  5. Evaluate methods of monitoring environmental health and explain the steps necessary to maintain the health of various environmental systems.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assignments (25) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Tutorial activities (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Mid semester assessment (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Final Exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 2 x 1 hour lectures per week (total 24 hours) and 48 hours of workshops/labs throughout the semester.
  • Approximately 58 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

Information on inherent requirements for this course is currently not available

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed a minimum of 72 units.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Assumed Knowledge

Prior knowledge of Year 11 / 12 chemistry is advantageous but not required. Chemistry bridging content relevant to this course will be delivered in class early in the semester. Students should note this is not equivalent to the Chemistry Bridging course offered by the Research School of Chemistry in early Jan/Feb each year.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9308 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person N/A

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