• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Information Technology, Engineering
  • Specialisation code POTE-HSPC

The Physics of the Earth Honours specialisation is intended for students who are interested in undertaking an independent research project in Earth physics under the direction of a supervisor, and who have the foundational knowledge of a relevant field, such as Physics, Earth and Marine sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, or Computer Sciences. This specialisation usually consists of two consecutive full-time semesters, and includes training in research methods, options for training in data sciences, computational geosciences and other in-depth coursework, in addition to a substantial research project (24-36 units), culminating in an Honours thesis. Taken together, these provide a foundation for careers in a range of fields in industry and government organisations, as well as a pathway for postgraduate research in Masters or Ph.D. degrees.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Plan and engage in an independent and sustained critical investigation of a chosen research topic to generate new knowledge in an area of Earth physics.

  2. Systematically evaluate relevant theory and concepts in Earth physics, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence and draw appropriate conclusions.

  3. Demonstrate capacity for generating original geophysical results through numerical, experimental, and/or theoretical techniques.

  4. Communicate and justify complex concepts and results clearly and effectively to a variety of audiences.

Other Information

Students can apply to enrol in 4000 or 6000 or 8000 coded courses in physics, earth and marine sciences, and mathematics, with the approval of the convener

For more information on Honours year in Science, please visit:


For more information on how to apply for Honours in Science include deadlines, please visit:


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Admission Requirements

  1. Satisfaction of the admission requirements described in the relevant honours plan.
  2. A Bachelor degree with a major or equivalent in a cognate discipline with a weighted average mark equivalent to an ANU 70 per cent calculated from the 36 units (i.e. 0.75 EFTSL) of courses in the discipline, excluding 1000-level courses (i.e. introductory undergraduate courses), with the highest marks.
  3. The written approval of an identified supervisor for the research project.

Cognate Disciplines

Earth and Marine Sciences (Geology, Geophysics, Oceanography), Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy/Astrophysics, Engineering, Computer Sciences, Data Sciences.


This Honours specialisation requires the completion of 48 units, which must consist of:

A minimum of 24 units and a maximum of 36 units from completion of EMSC4008 Physics of the Earth Honours Thesis.

6 units from completion of EMSC4017 Research Methods and Proposal.

A minimum of 6 units and a maximum of 12 units from completion of courses from the following list:

EMSC4123 Data Science

EMSC4033 Computational Geosciences

A maximum of 12 units from completion of further 4000- level courses from the subject area EMSC Earth and Marine Sciences.


HONS4602 Final Honours Grade will be used to calculate the class of Honours and the mark. It will be calculated using the formula: S (mark x units) / S units, giving NCN and WN a nominal mark of zero.




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