GEOG12020 - Australian Weather and Climate

General Information

Unit Synopsis

The saying, “climate is what you expect, weather is what you get”, sums up why you will study atmospheric processes from two different time perspectives in this unit. You will examine how the atmosphere, the oceans and the land exchange radiation, heat and water to create the physical structure and circulation characteristics of the troposphere. You will explore the forces that create the life-cycle of weather features with particular attention to Australian examples. Your study will examine how these features are depicted in weather maps. The importance of time and spatial scales with respect to weather systems will be emphasised. In recent years, atmospheric research has unmasked a range of longer-term climate features that have a profound influence on Australian weather. You will learn how the fluctuations of these climate structures affect our region. You will gain introductory experience in using weather data from instruments, radar, satellites and weather models. This will lead to an examination of climate data – where to find it and how to use it. You will examine case studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' weather knowledge.


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

18 Units of Credit

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. Written Assessment 20%
2. Written Assessment 30%
3. Project (applied) 50%

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

To view Past Exams,
please login
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 31.58% 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 feedback.
The current unit learning design works for students.
The current learning design of the unit will be retained.
Action Taken
The learning design was retained (note: 2022 student feedback notes areas of improvement further discussed).
Source: Student feedback.
The unit content explains the background to societal discussion around climate issues.
The learning content will be updated to reflect emerging climate research and Earth system observation.
Action Taken
The learning content was retained (note: 2022 student feedback notes areas of improvement further discussed).
Source: Student feedback.
Some student feedback suggests a move away from text-based learning activities.
Video-based exercise explanations will be offered, replacing current text-based exercise definitions.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the role of energy balance and physical forcing in atmospheric structure, circulation and air-mass characteristics
  2. Apply synoptic, regional and local scale weather system concepts and data to Australian environment case studies
  3. Analyse climate concepts that affect Australian weather and environment
  4. Recognise and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s weather knowledge.


Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Project (applied)
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
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
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Project (applied)
1 - Written Assessment