Unit description

Describes coastal landforms and the processes that formed them and continue to change them. The role of periodic high-energy events and the use of data on past trends and present conditions to predict future changes and the effects of human intervention are emphasised. The use of knowledge of coastal landforms and processes in land use planning will be demonstrated.

Unit content

  • Coastal dynamics; influence of tectonic activity, geology and climate on coastal landforms
  • Waves, tides, currents, climate and sea level changes; constructive and destructive processes
  • Estuaries and deltas, mangroves, salt marshes and sea grasses
  • Beach and barrier bar deposition, processes and sub-environments
  • Rocky shores, processes and landforms (wave cut platforms, sea stacks, cliffs, etc.)
  • Carbonate sedimentation; coral reefs, beach rock, lime muds, shell beds
  • Sedimentary structures as process indicators, their interpretation and use
  • The influence of human activity and engineering works on coastal landforms
  • The role of geochemistry and geochronology application in palaeo-environmental reconstruction

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

  • Short, AD & Woodroffe, CD, 2009, Coasts of Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.
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 2014 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.