Unit description

Provides field-based learning approaches to studying coral reef ecology and management. Field training includes quantitative reef benthic and fish community surveys. Examines natural dynamism and the complex ecology of coral reef ecosystems, and their responses to disturbance. Highlights key management issues including climate change and the global reef loss.

Unit content

1. Introduction to coral reef ecology and key management  issues
2. Reef origins, geomorphology and dynamism
3. Biology, reproduction, growth and ecology of coral communities
4. Algal builders and diversity of primary productivity on coral reefs
5. Secondary production and trophic pathways on coral reefs
6. Reef biodiversity and symbiosis on coral reefs
7. Reef fish communities and their management
8. Natural disturbance and reef resilience
9. Human impacts on coral reefs and reef degradation
10. Coral bleaching, climate change and global reef loss
11. Coral reef management issues and future scenarios for coral reefs

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 3

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

Teaching and assessment


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 2016 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.