ENVH12003 - Environmental Toxicology

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Environmental toxicology is the study of the nature, properties, effects, and detection of toxic substances in diverse environments and those exposed. In this unit, you will study an introduction to basic toxicology from a public health perspective, focusing on developing an understanding of the principles of the discipline and the concepts relating to environmental exposures. Topics that will be covered include routes of exposure, the concept of dose, dose-response relationships, absorption and distribution of toxicants, biotransformation and elimination, target organ toxicity, carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, teratogenesis and risk assessment. You will examine toxicants of interest within community and occupational environments as well as how they are tested and regulated. You will practise your professional skills by reviewing case studies and special topics of interest.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites Prerequisites:

48 credit points AND

SCIE11022 OR ENVH11001 OR CHEM11041 OR CHEM11042 OR CHEM11044

Students who have completed other Chemistry or Biochemistry units should contact the Unit Coordinator.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Term 2 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 20%
2. Written Assessment 40%
3. Take Home Exam 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 100.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 22.22% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Personal reflection
Students did not attend tutorials, which was reflected in grades.
In the early part of the term, the importance of attendance at tutorials should be emphasised. Promote the survey to ensure an appropriate day/time is chosen.
Action Taken
Recommendation was actioned, however had little impact as although some completed the survey, no students attended tutorials.
Source: Unit Evaluation
One student commented that the pace of the lectures was a little fast.
Make students aware of the pause and rewind option and, particularly, the importance of attending tutorials to have questions answered.
Action Taken
Recommendation was actioned.
Source: Observations
Students did not attend tutorials.
Continue to emphasise that participation in tutorials is highly recommended and that sessions are not recorded if there is no attendance. Consider commencing delivery from Week 2 instead of waiting until Week 3, to develop a routine.
Action Taken
Source: Observation
Students were less engaged
Introduce some new activities using H5P to boost engagement.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Define fundamental toxicological concepts
  2. Identify and classify a range of common toxicants and their environmental sources
  3. Explain the dose-response relationship and its implications and applications
  4. Describe fundamental processes and endpoints relating to toxicants within the human body
  5. Apply the principles of risk assessment and risk management to toxicological situations
  6. Discuss major issues in environmental toxicology relating to exposures from natural and anthropogenic sources
  7. Critically consider the ethical and regulatory implications of toxicological research, associated uncertainties and risk communication.

Bachelor of Public Health (Environmental Health)

Foundation and applied environmental toxicology (LOs 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6) are identified as underpinning skills and knowledge in Part 2 of the Environmental Health Australia Skills & Knowledge Matrix, used as the basis for accreditation of the Bachelor of Public Health (Environmental Health) course. Methods of risk assessment and management (including as applied to toxicological issues) (LO 5) and the use of evidence in regulatory practice (LO7) are also identified as underpinning knowledge. Additionally, toxicology is an integral part of many of the activity-specific skills and knowledge identified in Part 3 of the Matrix.

Bachelor of Occupational Health & Safety

An understanding of toxicology is also important to support studies in Occupational Hygiene, considered a core knowledge area in the Safety Institute of Australia's Body of Knowledge, proposed to be used for accreditation of OHS courses within Australia.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Take Home Exam
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Take Home Exam