• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society and the Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Biology, Geology, Environmental Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Nicholas Engerer
    • Penelope King
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an integrated understanding of Earth as a system.

Topics include: a history of Earth's environment; systems theory; the biophysical and biochemical processes that characterise the oceans, atmosphere and land surface; together with an introduction to the global water and carbon cycles. Lectures provide a scientific perspective on and basis for understanding global change processes. Practical sessions offer hands-on experience with global systems. Field excursion introduces students to methods for environmental measurement and observation.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. use systems thinking to describe the physical and biophysical processes that define the Earth, and especially those processes that drive large-scale environmental change
  2. explain how the previous changes in Earth's environmental conditions and on-going Earth system processes provide a basis for understanding human-environmental interactions and impacts
  3. analyse to what extent humans can force global environmental change by deliberately or incidentally influencing the Earth system
  4. describe how the atmosphere, the land and the oceans interact and the feedback mechanisms between the three

Other Information

There will be a field trip. Students are required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the field trip; in 2013 it was $160.

Payment may be made at the Science Cashier, Bldg 42, or online at ScienceShop:  http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Practical/workshop assignments (45%; LO 1-4)
  • Field reports (10%; LO 1-4)
  • Tests (45%; LO 1-4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


65 hours of contact, comprising lectures, practicals, and field excursion

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed GEOL1006.

Prescribed Texts

Core Text: The Blue Planet (2011) by Brian J Skinner & Barbara W Murck . 

Recommended Text: A Short Introduction to Climate Change (2012) by Tony Eggleton




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $1650
2004 $1926
2005 $2298
2006 $2520
2007 $2520
2008 $2916
2009 $2916
2010 $2916
2011 $2946
2012 $2946
2013 $2946
2014 $2946
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3390
2004 $3450
2005 $3450
2006 $3618
2007 $3618
2008 $3618
2009 $3618
2010 $3750
2011 $3756
2012 $3756
2013 $3756
2014 $3762
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4162 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions