• 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, Science, Earth Physics, Geology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Meghan Miller
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

Geophysics is crucial in our understanding of Earth's history, structure and physical conditions. This course will provide a practical introduction to Global Geophysics with an emphasis on Earth's internal and surface processes. Global Geophysics will bring together the structure and dynamics of the Earth in terms of processes varying on scales from the microscopic to the whole planet. Topics will include; plate tectonic theory, earthquakes, seismic waves, heat transport, mantle convection, magnetic and gravity fields, deep Earth structure, geophysical data analysis, and deformation of the solid Earth.
This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the broad-scale structure of the whole Earth;
  2. Critically analyse a range of geophysical processes that act from the Earth’s deep interior to surface;
  3. Demonstrate and advanced understanding of how waves travel through the Earth and compare how theyare transmitted, reflected and refracted;
  4. Evaluate the theory of plate tectonics and explain its foundation in geophysical observations;
  5. Explain the configurations of plate tectonic boundaries and their development through time;
  6. Analyse geophysical data to reconstruct large-scale geological processes
  7. Communicate the ideas underlying geophysical processes in an effective and accessible way.

Indicative Assessment

  1. 3 end of module practical assignments (60) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Presentation of a poster at a student conference (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]

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 2 x 1 hour lectures plus 1 x 3 hour practical per week.
  • 1/2 day student conference.
  • Approximately 60 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, practicals and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Master of Earth Sciences (Advanced), the Master of Science in Earth Sciences or by permission of the course convener. Incompatible with EMSC2018 and EMSC2022.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Understanding Earth by Grotzinger and Jordan

The Solid Earth: An Introduction to Global Geophysics by Fowler

Fundamentals of Geophysics by Lowrie

Earthquakes: Science and Society by Brumbaugh

Assumed Knowledge

Students enrolling in this course are recommended to have completed both EMSC6008 (EARTH: The Chemistry and Physics of our Planet) and EMSC6107 (The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Science).


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
3535 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions