• 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, Earth Physics, Geology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Andrew Roberts
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    Second Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

This course is for Honours students

This course provides an introduction into the research methods relevant to Earth Sciences, through a series of lectures, seminars and workshops. Students learn key academic skills, and how to plan, manage and present scientific research. It is fundamental preparation for EMSC4005 (Earth and Marine Science Honours) and EMSC4008 (Physics of the Earth Honours).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Plan, manage and present scientific research;
  2. Appreciate research strategy;
  3. Explain the broader aspects of research mechanisms and how research is conducted in the Earth Sciences;
  4. Communicate and debate research to and with both a peer audience and a non-specialist audience;
  5. Understand the principal features of a successful research proposal;
  6. Apply concepts from lectures and workshops to the development of their own research proposal and project

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research Proposal: note that this assessed component represents Milestone 1 of the Honours program. In conjunction with their supervisor, students will produce a research proposal demonstrating that they understand the process of scholarly inquiry, in particular, that `good' research starts with the identification of an important problem or 'gap' in knowledge, which can be addressed realistically. A persuasive research proposal identifies a knowledge gap that must be filled, proposes a hypothesis and, subsequently, suggests a series of aims and objectives to be accomplished, using appropriate methods, that will address the hypothesis. (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Poster Preparation and Presentation: prepare a poster on their research project, following guidelines provided at "Poster Preparation" workshop. Present poster at an organized poster session, alongside other students. This will teach critical thinking skills and an ability to synthesize complex ideas into a more compact framework. (30) [LO 1,4]
  3. Lay Description: on the same topic as that covered in the poster. Tests ability to write and summarize for a non-specialist audience, building on "Media Engagement" and "Writing for a Layperson" workshops. (30) [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.


Lecture attendance (24 hours -- Introduction; Planning and Managing Scientific Research); Workshops (12 hours -- Key Academic Skills); Tutorials and Workshops (24 hours -- Academic Writing, Writing a Thesis, Writing a Research Proposal, Critiquing a Research Proposal, Media Engagement, Writing for the Layperson, Poster Preparation and Oral Presentations); Reading, workshop preparation and assessment (70 hours).

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in either Earth and Marine Sciences (EMSC-HSPC) or Physics of the Earth (POTE-HSPC) Honours specialisations. Incompatible with EMSC8017.

Prescribed Texts

Planning and Managing Scientific Research: A guide for the beginning researcher (Author - Brian Kennett).

Preliminary Reading

Planning and Managing Scientific Research: A guide for the beginning researcher (Author - Brian Kennett).

Assumed Knowledge

An undergraduate-level background in Earth Sciences, or cognate subjects, such as Chemistry, Marine Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Physical Geography.


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
3725 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 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
8753 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person N/A

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