Energy and Environmental Physics

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Energy and Environmental Physics

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Physics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    This course uses basic physical concepts to study energy, Earth's energy resources and the physical environment. The advantages, disadvantages and environmental impact of various renewable and non-renewable energy resources are investigated, with particular emphasis on the New Zealand situation. Other environmental topics covered include thermal radiation, the greenhouse effect and global warming, atmospheric circulation and climate patterns, properties of the ozone layer, noise pollution, the physics of earthquake and extreme weather hazards, radiation ... and more.

    Course content
    This course develops an understanding of introductory physics by focussing on the concept of energy and its role in everyday life. It is designed for students with little background in physics or mathematics who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the environmental and energy-related issues facing the world today. Topics include the physics of energy, how it is stored and transferred; energy resources with particular reference to New Zealand; solar radiation, atmospheric processes, weather, climate; and natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and floods.

    Course learning objectives
    Students who pass this course should be able to:

    • Identify and use the concepts of the course to discuss physics related questions and solve problems.
    • Develop basic physics laboratory skills.
    • Clearly represent and communicate ideas in physics using appropriate language and symbols.
    • Use critical thinking to apply knowledge and understanding to new situations.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.