• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Coasts are at the interface of terrestrial and marine systems, and as such are highly dynamic, diverse, and rich in resources, but also increasingly coming under the pressure of development.  In the past, the study of interactions between natural and anthropogenic systems has tended to concentrate on inland areas due to the interest in exploiting mineral and agricultural resources.  However, as development expands across our coastal zones, awareness of the value and diversity of these systems is emerging in response to their actual and potential degradation.  The principal aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of coastal systems from a geoscience perspective, and how these systems are impacted and/or modified by natural and anthropogenic processes. 

Topics will include:

  • geological setting - tectonics, lithology and sea level change
  • the nature origins of rocky coasts, beach and barrier coasts, deltas and estuaries
  • aquatic geochemistry and hydrology
  • impacts of anthropogenic activities on water quality, aquatic ecosystems and aquaculture
  • global change and sea level rise

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but will be assessed separately.

This course includes a 5 days field trip to Merimbula.

Learning Outcomes

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

On completetion of this course students will achieve:

  1. Understanding of the interactions between estuary formation, sediment input and modification, water movement and chemistry (rivers, aquifers and tidal) as well as sewage and anthropogenic pollutants to these systems.
  2. Competent field mapping and measurement skills. 

Other Information

This course includes a 5 days field trip to Merimbula.  The  field trip is expected to be held in the week before Semester 1 begins.  Students are required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the field trip, approximately $260 (excluding food). Payment may be made at the Front Counter,College of Science (Bld 42), or online at ScienceShop http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/

A quota of 23 applies to this course. If you are interested in enrolling please contact either the course convenor or emailing student.admin.rses@anu.edu.au.

Indicative Assessment

Theory Examination (50%)

Research Project (50%)

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Twenty five contact hours of lectures and practical work in the first week (5 days), and 40 hours of field work in the second week (5 days) on the NSW south coast.

Intensive course (does not run in the standard semester length)

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed EMSC3028

You will need to contact the Research School of Earth Sciences to request a permission code to enrol in this course.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2016 $3480
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4638
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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