• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Chemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Guillaume Tcherkez
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Autumn Session 2020
    See Future Offerings

This course deals with stable isotopes, across different areas, from biology to earth sciences, environmental studies and medicine. In this course, students will be taught the importance of isotopes in a variety of applications and how they can be used for basic science, environmental monitoring, etc. This course involves different universities (from France, Japan, Poland and Australia) in an international teaching initiative. There will be shared lectures and the course is recognized by all partner universities. Students will be prepared in the broad area of of isotopics, which carries job opportunities in different branches of a modern economy: authentication, detection of doping, food traceability, etc.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the importance of stable isotopes in various areas;
  2. Explain how isotope abundance can be measured and how isotope fractionations work;
  3. Interpret and explain isotope signatures in a variety of applications;
  4. Evaluate and apply knowledge of isotopes to solve questions on traceability and fluxes in biological and geological systems.
  5. Interpret, analyse and present data from isotopic analyses.

Other Information

This course is run intensively during the Autumn session (usually late April to late May).

Indicative Assessment

  1. Literature review (25) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Practical reports (25) [LO 3,4,5]
  3. Final exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


This course is delivered intensively. The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the session including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 26.5 hours of lectures (approx 4 hours per week), 2 x 4 hours of practical, 5 hours of tutorial.
  • Approximately 90 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, use of on-line resources (videos and MCQs), and assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards practicals and discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course, students must have successfully completed 72 units of BIOL, CHEM, EMSC, ENVS, MATH or PHYS courses.

Prescribed Texts


Assumed Knowledge

Basic knowledge in biology, chemistry, math and/or earth sciences that should include quantitative skills eg any 1000 level MATH or BIOL2001


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.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
5301 23 Apr 2020 01 May 2020 01 May 2020 29 May 2020 In Person View

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