• 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
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

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 has been set up via a partnership with the University of Nantes (France) thanks to an international teaching initiative involving five countries. Most lectures are shared via online videoconferencing and lecturers are best experts in isotope-related research fields, from different countries (New Zealand, France, Poland, Japan and Australia). Students will be exposed to a broad spectrum of utilisation of stable isotopics, which is associated with job opportunities in different branches of economy, in particular: environment, authentication, detection of doping, food traceability.

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]

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 directed 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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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