LismoreSession 1Session 1
OnlineSession 1Session 1

Unit description

Examines the main soil forming processes and the role of both organic matter and clay minerals in soil processes and properties is explored. Field soil assessment and classification skills are developed and methods for the examination of soil invertebrates introduced. The main concepts and methods used to assess soil physical and chemical properties are introduced, as is the use of soil moisture characteristics for the prediction of water movement. The behaviour of soil nutrients is examined.

Unit content

The unit will cover the following topics (not necessarily in the order presented) which will be dealt with in the topic notes, readings, laboratory notes and in the field:

  • soil and its constituents
  • soil physical properties: texture, structure
  • soil water
  • soil organic matter
  • soil and clay mineralogy
  • soil and plant nutrition: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and trace elements
  • soil formation
  • soil classification
  • soil biology.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Practical session 3 hours (11 weeks)
Lecture on-site 2 hours (11 weeks)
Exam: closed book40%


Teaching method
Lecture online 2 hours (11 weeks)
Tutorial online 2 hours (11 weeks)
Residential session 3 days (1 week)
Exam: closed book40%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.