• 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, Geology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Gregory Yaxley
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course provides students with advanced training in analytical techniques. This will include a detailed theoretical background, practical training and a critical understanding of the laboratory-based techniques they will apply during their research projects. The course will deliver an in-depth examination of the specific analytical techniques relevant to their research projects.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the theoretical aspects of key analytical techniques and instruments used in geochemistry, including but not limited to electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy (including synchrotron techniques).
  2. Strategically plan analytical campaigns to apply to different types of samples and research objectives, including selection of the most appropriate technique/instrumentation for the students' research project.
  3. Undertake the correct sample preparation and characterization prior to analysis by the chosen techniques or instruments.
  4. Design an analytical work-flow to acquire data and achieve the research objectives of their project.
  5. Process data from the chosen instruments and demonstrate understanding of the limitations and quality of the data. Justify the approach taken to data processing.
  6. Write a clear and concise justification and description of the analytical techniques employed, suitable for publication in a scientific journal.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Theory exam on lecture material (30) [LO 1]
  2. Oral presentation (30 minutes) to class outlining their proposed analytical campaign and justifying the approach to be taken and instrumentation to be used in terms of the research objectives (20) [LO 2,3,4]
  3. Present, in an appropriate form, a data set obtained in the lab exercises on an instrument to be used in the research project, and demonstrate data quality and limitations using appropriate statistical techniques (25) [LO 5]
  4. Present a written justification and description of the analytical techniques to be employed in the research project, suitable for publication in a scientific journal (25) [LO 6]

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. 

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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.

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Students must be enrolled in the Master of Earth Sciences (Adv) or the Master of Science in Earth Sciences. Incompatible with EMSC4122.

Prescribed Texts

An appropriate reading list will be supplied 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
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

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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
3952 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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