• 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 2020
    Second Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course includes an on campus activity. Check timetable for details. Contact course convener if you are unable to travel to Canberra.

This course provides an introduction to 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 and how it 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 develop 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 your supervisor, students will produce a research proposal to demonstrate understanding of the process of scholarly inquiry, in particular, that 'good' research starts with identification of an important problem or 'knowledge gap' that 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, to address the hypothesis. (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Poster Preparation and Presentation: prepare a poster on your research project, following guidelines provided. Present a 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 the ability to write and summarize for a non-specialist audience, building on "Media Engagement" and "Writing for a Layperson" workshops. (30) [LO 1,4]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 3 hour lectorials (lecture, seminars and tutorials) per week over a 6 week period.
  • Approximately 70 hours of self-study which will include substantial reading and preparation work required for engagement in face-to-face sessions.

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
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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
3729 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8739 27 Jul 2020 03 Aug 2020 31 Aug 2020 30 Oct 2020 In Person View

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