Course Outline

ENS242 Weather and Climate

Course Coordinator:Adrian McCallum ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course provides you with a practical introduction and overview of meteorology and climate. The nature of the physical processes responsible for changes in daily weather will be discussed, including links between oceans, atmosphere and land. You will gain a better understanding of the nightly television weather charts and reports, and an improved understanding of important issues including climate change and the impacts of severe weather. The course will focus on Australian and regional Queensland conditions.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning materials 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus workshop 1hr Week 1 13 times
Laboratory 1 – on-campus computer lab 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Meteorology; climate change; global warming; greenhouse gases; marine and coastal weather and forecasts; severe weather; rainfall, floods and droughts, waves, currents and surf; weather forecasts.

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Recognise, understand and explain key concepts in weather and climate, and the links to Earth System Science Knowledgeable
2 Identify and collect weather/climate data from different sources including the Internet Empowered
3 Critically assess sources and types of weather/climate data and trends Creative and critical thinker
4 Understand, describe and present weather/climate data and information to a non-professional audience Empowered
5 Evaluate climate data in relation to possible impacts on the Earth and on humanity Sustainability-focussed

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Computer and internet literate; access to television and internet; access to, and use of, MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Several of the tutorials include group tasks that are reviewed to provide formative feedback to the students. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual and Group 20%
<600 words
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Oral Group 30%
~20 min group presentation plus accompanying presentation notes (<2000 words)
Week 12 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 50%
2 hr + 10 mins perusal
Exam Period Exam Venue
All - Assessment Task 1:Tutorial lab exercise report(s)
You will understand weather and climate terms and develop proficiency of using weather observations to forecast weather.You will find, access and use weather data and other information to create weather forecast(s) and/or answer short answers quizzes.
Product: Written Piece
Two components:

One: Create a brief (<600 words), written forecast (report) of the weather using weather data either supplied and/or accessed via the Internet, and
Two: answer a content knowledge quiz about weather.

Submission dates will be confirmed upon course commencement.

Part One: probably undertaken in Week 9.
Part Two: probably undertaken in Week 10.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Assessed on the ability to create a knowledgeable, accurate, readable forecast that matches the data and scientific assumptions/understanding used and that shows understanding of the technical terminology used in meteorology.
1 2 3 4
All - Assessment Task 2:Weather/climate project presentation
Working as a group, report some aspect of weather and/or climate studies (students' choice to topic), either by data gathering, literature research or a field project.
Product: Oral
Attractive, professional oral presentation to class, summarising the project and findings.Includes presentation notes and references.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated ability to produce a comprehensible, formal, professional presentation of the project. Includes presentation notes and relevance to project/task and issues, clarity of language and logic, and sources of information used.
2 3 4
All - Assessment Task 3:Final Examination
This exam will allow you to consolidate and demonstrate your learning of the key concepts, theories and practices in weather and climate science covered in this course.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Two-hour examination held during formal end-of-semester, examination period, and comprised of a mixture of short, medium and essay length questions.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Answers and clarity of language and logic used
1 4 5
Explaining key concepts in weather and climate science
1 4
Explaining and/or assessing contemporary issues in weather and climate science
3 4 5

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Recommended Edward Aguado,James E. Burt 2014 Understanding Weather and Climate 7th Ed Prentice Hall
Recommended C. Donald Ahrens,Robert Henson 2015 Meteorology Today 11th Ed Cengage Learning
Recommended Keith Colls,Dick Whitaker,Richard Whitaker 2012 The Australian Weather Book 3nd Ed. (or older editions) Reed New Holland
Recommended Andrew P. Sturman,Nigel J. Tapper 2006 The Weather and Climate of Australia and New Zealand 2nd Ed. (or older edition) Oxford University Press, USA

Specific requirements

Links to relevant web pages including the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) will be provided also during tutorials. Students expected to view daily weather forecasts (TV, newspaper or internet).

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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General Enquiries

  • In person:
    • UniSC Sunshine Coast - Student Central, Ground Floor, Building C, 90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
    • UniSC Moreton Bay - Service Centre, Ground Floor, Foundation Building, Gympie Road, Petrie
    • UniSC SouthBank - Student Central, Building A4 (SW1), 52 Merivale Street, South Brisbane
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    • UniSC Fraser Coast - Student Central, Student Central, Building A, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Hervey Bay
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  • Tel:+61 7 5430 2890