• Offered by 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, Environmental Studies, Earth Physics, Geology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr David Heslop
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course is for Honours students

This course focuses on analytical methods and data science in Earth Sciences. It includes understanding types of instrumentation and other analytical techniques essential to the Earth Sciences, how to assess data quality, how to document and present results effectively, and how to use statistical and numerical techniques to interpret data quantitatively in Earth Sciences.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the theoretical and practical aspects of major analytical instrumentation (including electron microprobe, FTIR, XRF, XRD, mass spectrometery - ICPMS, TIMS, SIMS) used across the Earth Sciences in fields such as geochemistry, mineralogy, biogeochemistry, marine and climate science. The emphasis is on instrumentation and laboratories available to students at RSES.
  2. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different analytical techniques for different applications.
  3. Appraise the advantages and disadvantages of different analytical techniques for a research program.
  4. Undertake data assessment and quality control.
  5. Explain the requirements for data documentation and reporting in a professional context.
  6. Assess a suite of relevant statistical techniques and use them to evaluate data sets to assess quality of data needed to obtain specific goals.
  7. Communicate effectively a variety of data science tools as applicable to Earth Science research problems.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Students will complete classroom and independent work for assessment, including practicals, oral presentations and theory exams. Specifically: Theory exams - Best 2 of 3 exams. (20) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  2. Practical exercises including problems and use of datasets designed to explore and illustrate basic principles of instrumentation and production of high quality data (20) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Oral and written presentation exploring a technique relevant to a student's desired research topic in more depth (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Practical exercise on application of statistical techniques to the evaluation of data sets and quality (50) [LO 3,5,6,7]

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 lectures and hands-on practicals. Approximately 65 hours of self-study, based upon a combination of in-class assignments.

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in POTE-HSPC or EMSC-HSPC Honours specialisations. Incompatible with EMSC4122, EMSC4123 and EMSC8024.

Prescribed Texts

An appropriate reading list will be provided during the course.

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
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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
4931 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person View

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