Course Outline

ENS333 Special Field Studies Topic

Course Coordinator:Gabriel Conroy ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2023Session 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

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 enables you to develop and apply fieldwork skills in a unique location in relation to a special topic in environmental studies or ecology. The course topics and learning activities will contribute to your ability to: plan and conduct fieldwork; analyse and evaluate information to complete a range of activities; generate, analyse and transmit solutions to unpredictable and sometimes complex problems; and transmit knowledge, skills and ideas to others. Fieldwork locations and topics may include: Studies of tropical ecosystems in Borneo,Studies of subtropical ecosystems on the Sunshine Coast; Animal Ecology research in Kruger National Park, South Africa, and Geography of Surfing in Noosa. Please review the course outline to determine suitability for topics/locations.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Fieldwork – Fieldwork 1-2 weeks depending on location. Minimum 80 hours. Dates to be confirmed 80hrs Not applicable Once Only

Course Topics

This course will have specialist topics for each offering depending on the location and context. The course focuses on a diversity of field work skills and experiences and revolves around an immersive field trip guided by experts in a variety of environmental and ecological disciplines. 

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

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 Plan for a field-work based study including conducting background research, acquiring specific expert knowledge, analysing data, and synthesising and documenting your findings. Creative and critical thinker
2 Identify and manage potential risks associated with your field- study location and method and demonstrate appropriate field-work skills. Knowledgeable

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”.


Course Coordinator approval to enrol


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

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

Feedback will be provided to help you progress from your current practice to more effectively achieve the learning goals of the course. The format of feedback may include: verbal comments to individuals or to the class about academic progress relevant to the assessment; ongoing dialogue with learners to help develop the process of self-regulation and reflection; comments on presentations; and/or written feedback on drafts or outlines of a task.

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 Literature Review (or component) Individual 30%
2,000 words
Week 5 Online Submission
All 2 Artefact - Technical and Scientific, and Written Piece Individual 50%
2,000 words
Week 8 To Supervisor
All 3 Oral and Written Piece Group 20%
10 minutes
Week 7 In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Literature review and research plan
To develop and demonstrate skills in planning a "fieldwork based" study, including conducting background research and literature review and undertaking a risk assessment.
Product: Literature Review (or component)
Structure to follow a conventional scientific research plan. Specific details will be available via Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
You will be assessed on:
•	Scope and quality of background research
•	Appropriateness of risk assessment
•	Quality of presentation and communication
All - Assessment Task 2:Fieldwork skills and data collection
With initiative and judgement in planning, you will demonstrate critical fieldwork skills including: field safety, organisation, observation and recording.These skills and qualities of thinking are important elements in professional scientific practice.
Product: Artefact - Technical and Scientific, and Written Piece
A written report not to exceed 2,000 words not including appendices
No. Learning Outcome assessed
You will be assessed on the application of your fieldwork skills including:
•	Accuracy and comprehensiveness of record keeping
•	Appropriate acquisition of data or samples
•	Field safety 
•	Communication of field work, methods and results
1 2
All - Assessment Task 3:Project report
In this task you develop and demonstrate your ability communicate your findings.
Product: Oral and Written Piece
Narrated PowerPoint or video presentation of approximately ten minutes duration
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Description, explanation and communication of topic, site and/or data
Communication of field work design, methods and presentation of results
1 2
Style of presentation and answering questions
Contribution to group

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

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

You will be required to travel to the location for field studies and abide by the local laws. You may be required to pay a fee for accommodation, transport and food. You will be required to wear covered footwear, hat, long-sleeved shirt and long trousers for field safety. Ensuring you have up to date immunisations and associated travel medical advice is strongly recommended for international field work.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been conducted for the field activities being undertaken and a high level of risk has been identified. High level risk may include, boating, diving, and hot works such as welding, cutting and grinding. Where high risks exist you will be given training and advice about how to control the high level risk, however it is also 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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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

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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:
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