• 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, Geology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Andrew Berry
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an introduction to the chemistry, physics and climate of the Earth.  The course comprises four equally-weighted modules:

  1. Geochemistry: magmas, volcanoes, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary processes.
  2. Geophysics: plate tectonics, seismology, heat transfer, and Earth's magnetic field.
  3. Palaeoclimate: factors affecting Earth's climate in the past, present and future.
  4. Field Geology: interpreting changes in tectonics and climate from the rock record.

Mineral and rock identification, field techniques (mapping, cross sections, stratigraphy), data analysis, and numerical modelling will be taught in this course.  

NOTE: Graduate students will attend joint classes with undergraduates, but will be assessed under a different scheme, which will require a greater level of conceptual understanding.

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. Examine minerals and rocks and understand the mechanisms by which they formed.
  2. Develop a geological history (e.g. climate, tectonics) of a region from multiple lines of evidence provided by the rock record.
  3. Develop a conceptual understand relating the history of the Earth to processes that shape our planet today.
  4. Synthesise field observations with theory learned in lectures.
  5. Analyze the role of geological processes in natural hazards.
  6. Explain how different geophysical techniques constrain the structure of the Earth.
  7. Compare changes in past environments from different environmental archives and examine these changes in the context of potential impacts of future climate change.

Other Information

There will be a 5 day fieldtrip to the South Coast.  The tentative date for the 2017 fieldtrip is Monday September 4 - Friday September 8 inclusive.  The cost for this fieldtrip is expected to be $350-$450.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:
  • Assessed practicals (30% LO 1-2,  6-7)
  • Field trip assignment (25% LO 1-4)
  • Theory exam (45% LO 2-3, 5-7)
Graduate students will be assessed at a higher level than undergraduates and will be expected to demonstrate greater conceptual insight and more advanced scientific understanding.

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.


At least 71.5 contact hours over the semester plus a 5 day residential field trip

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with EMSC1008

Preliminary Reading

Understanding Earth by Frank Press and Raymond Siever

Assumed Knowledge

EMSC1006 /EMSC6107 Blue Plan


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
2017 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9702 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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