ENVR12001 - Soil Science and Conservation

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Soils are the physical and chemical foundation of terrestrial ecosystems and Australian soils are among the oldest and most fragile in the world. In this unit you will learn the origin of soils and how they are affected by geology, geography, climate, living organisms and time. You will develop soil classification and testing skills in the laboratory and in the field, and study the conservation, management and remediation of Australian soils.


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


CHEM11043 Atoms, Molecules and Matter


CHEM11041 Chemistry for the Life Sciences


BIOL11099 Living Systems


BIOL11102 Life Science Laboratory

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).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile
Mixed Mode

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. Practical and Written Assessment 30%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment 40%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 30%

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 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 100.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 16.67% 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: Student (SUTE)
Nathan's energy and passion is admirable and makes learning engaging. Would be good to see weeks given titles. For example, Week 1: Physical Characteristics of Soils. Going back to find things was difficult and time consuming. Loved the res school, it brought things together.
The week titles will be labeled by content but the Week numbers will be removed to make it easier to roll over the unit but also accomodate variable instructor schedules.
Action Taken
We have left the week numbers in, but have taken more time when developing the Moodle to ensure the weeks and content are aligned with instructor schedules.
Source: Student (SUTE)
A student expressed concerns with poor group work contribution from another student and felt it affected their grade.
The group work has an individual component as part of the assessment and also a mechanism (the Self and Peer Assessment) to evaluate others in the group. This will not change.
Action Taken
This was not changed.
Source: Unit Coordinator
The residential school in this unit is an excellent opportunity for the students to learn the material.
The residential school will remain unchanged for the next offering.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil
  2. Describe and classify a range of soils
  3. Plan and conduct soil tests in the laboratory and field
  4. Discuss the major challenges for the sustainable management and remediation of Australian soils.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Online Quiz(zes)
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
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 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Online Quiz(zes)