• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Victoria Bennett
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an introduction to powerful analytical techniques used to determine the elemental and isotopic compositions of Earth materials such as rocks, minerals, microfossils, corals and water.


Lecture material introduces the fundamentals of mass spectrometry, and the theory behind specific techniques and applications;  practical exercises use a mixture of observation of the equipment plus manipulation of real data to gain an insight into how each piece of equipment functions and the types of  information each produces.  Problems of data quality assessment, standards, and appropriate method documentation and presentation will be discussed.  At the end of the course the student should be able to design an analytical regimen to obtain data relevant to their research proposal.

Learning Outcomes

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

On completion of this course, students will have the skill and knowledge to:

  1. Understand the basics of the major analytical techniques including sample preparation, standardisation and data analysis for each technique;
  2. Evaluate strengths and weakness of different analytical techniques for different applications;
  3. Design an analytical regimen to obtain data relevant to their research proposal;
  4. Process data sets produced from some instruments;
  5. Report in detail on a chosen technique and on analysis of the data; and
  6. Write an analytical methods section suitable for publication in a scientific paper.

Indicative Assessment

• Theory exam (40% LO 1, 2, 5)
• Practicals (30% LO 3, 4)
• Report on technique  (30% LO 1-6)

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A total of 30 hours of lectures and 35 hours of practicals. Students are expected to spend an additional 60 hours on work related to practicals and to prepare  a  report for the chosen analytical technique.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with EMSC4122

Assumed Knowledge

Basic knowledge of mathematics and chemistry.


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
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
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
3600 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8587 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

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