single degree

Master of Science in Earth Sciences

A single two year graduate award offered by the ANU College of Science

  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Mode of delivery
    • In Person
  • Field of Education
    • Earth Sciences
  • Academic contact
  • Length 2 year full-time
  • Minimum 96 Units
First year student? There’s more information about enrolling in your degree.
  • Mode of delivery
    • In Person
  • Field of Education
    • Earth Sciences
  • Academic contact

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Earth Sciences requires completion of 96 units which must consist of:

A minimum of 24 units must come from completion of 8000-level courses.

The 96 units must include:

24 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

EMSC8019 Advanced Earth Physics

EMSC8021 Advanced Geochemistry and Petrology

EMSC8022 Analytical Techniques

EMSC8023 Data Science

EMSC8033 Computational Geosciences: Problem Solving, Logical Thinking and Computer Programming

EMSC8706 Introduction to Natural Hazards

12 units from the completion of integrative courses which must include:

6 units from completion of the following course:

EMSC8017 Research Methods for Earth Sciences

6 units from completion of integrative courses from the following list:

EMSC8034 Research Orientation: Big Questions in the Earth Sciences

EMSC8032 Earth Science Research Proposal & Presentation

12 units from completion of Science and Society Courses from the following list:

ENVS6013 Society and Environmental Change

POGO8093 Science Innovation and Public Policy

SCOM6007 Science Communication Project Delivery and Design

SCOM6012 Science Communication and the Web

SCOM6015 Speaking of Science

SCOM6016 Science in the Media

SCOM6027 Science Politics

SCOM6029 Cross Cultural Perspectives in Science Communication

SCOM6030 Science Dialogue Theory and Practice

SCOM6031 Science, Risk and Ethics

SCOM6032 Making Modern Science

SCOM6501 Strategies in Science Communication

SCOM8014 Communicating Science with the Public

SCNC8000 Science Internship

VCPG6003 Leadership and Influence in a Complex World

VCPG6004 Creating Impact

VCPG6002 Mobilising Research

VCPG6001 Unravelling Complexity

24 units from completion of further 6000- and 8000-level courses from the subject area EMSC Earth and Marine Sciences.


A maximum of 24 units from elective courses offered by ANU.

Capstone Courses

[EMSC8032, EMSC8017, EMSC8034]

Hurdle Requirements

Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 5.0 in the first 96 units attempted to commence the 24 units of Masters courses in their Bachelor degree. Students who do not achieve this GPA will be able to complete and graduate from their Bachelor degree but will not be able to undertake Masters courses.

If the total number of units attempted exceeds 96 in the same teaching period in which the 96th unit is attempted, all courses attempted will be used in the calculation of the GPA.

Study Options

Year 1 48 units EMSC8033 Computational Geosciences: Problem-solving, Logical Thinking and Programming. 6 units EMSC8022 Analytical Techniques 6 units EMSC8017 Research Methods for Earth Sciences 6 units ANU elective 6 units
EMSC8019 Advanced Earth Physics 6 units EMSC8023 Data Science 6 units EMSC8032/EMSC8034 6 units ANU elective 6 units
Year 2 48 units 6000-8000 EMSC 6 units 6000-8000 EMSC 6 units Science & Society 6 units ANU elective 6 units
6000-8000 EMSC 6 units 6000-8000 EMSC 6 units Science & Society 6 units ANU elective 6 units

Admission Requirements

At a minimum, all applicants must meet program-specific academic/non-academic requirements, and English language requirements. Admission to most ANU programs is on a competitive basis. Therefore, meeting all admission requirements does not automatically guarantee entry.

Applicants must present a Bachelor degree or international equivalent

  • with a grade point average of at least 5.0/7.0
  • with at least 8 courses in a cognate discipline with a grade point average of at least 5.0/7.0 in these courses.


In line with the university's admissions policy and strategic plan, an assessment for admission may include competitively ranking applicants on the basis of specific academic achievement, English language proficiency and diversity factors. 


Academic achievement & English language proficiency

The minimum academic requirement for full entry and enrolment is a Bachelor degree or international equivalent with a minimum GPA of 5.0/7.0. 

However, applicants will first be ranked on a GPA ('GPA1') that is calculated using all but the last semester (or equivalent) of the Bachelor degree used for admission purposes. 

If required, ranking may further be confirmed on the basis of: 

• a GPA ('GPA2') calculated on the penultimate and antepenultimate semesters (or equivalent) of the Bachelor degree used for admission purposes; and/or

• demonstrating higher-level English language proficiency. 

Prior to enrolment in this ANU program, all students who gain entry will have their Bachelor degree reassessed, to confirm minimum requirements were met.

Further information: English Language Requirements for Admission 


Diversity factors

As Australia’s national university, ANU is global representative of Australian research and education. ANU endeavours to recruit and maintain a diverse and deliberate student cohort representative not only of Australia, but the world. In order to achieve these outcomes, competitive ranking of applicants may be adjusted to ensure access to ANU is a reality for brilliant students from countries across the globe.


Assessment of qualifications

Unless otherwise indicated, ANU will accept all Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualifications or international equivalents that meet or exceed the published admission requirements of our programs, provided all other admission requirements are also met.

 Where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will base assessment on the qualification that best meets the admission requirements for the program. Find out more about the Australian Qualifications Framework:

ANU uses a 7-point Grade Point Average (GPA) scale. All qualifications submitted for admission at ANU will be converted to this common scale, which will determine if an applicant meets our published admission requirements. Find out more about how a 7-point GPA is calculated for Australian universities:

Unless otherwise indicated, where an applicant has more than one completed tertiary qualification, ANU will calculate the GPA for each qualification separately. ANU will base assessment on the best GPA of all completed tertiary qualifications of the same level or higher.

Credit Granted

Applicants with a Bachelor Degree or Graduate Certificate in a cognate discipline may be eligible for 24 units (one semester) of credit. Applicants with a Graduate Diploma or Honours in a cognate discipline may be eligible for 48 units (one year) of credit.

Cognate Disciplines

Earth & Marine Sciences; Physics; Chemistry; Biology; Computer Sciences; Astronomy & Astrophysics; Physical Geography; Mathematics; Engineering.

Annual indicative fee for domestic students

For more information see:

Annual indicative fee for international students

For further information on International Tuition Fees see:

Fee Information

All students are required to pay the Services and amenities fee (SA Fee)

The annual indicative fee provides an estimate of the program tuition fees for international students and domestic students (where applicable). The annual indicative fee for a program is based on the standard full-time enrolment load of 48 units per year (unless the program duration is less than 48 units). Fees for courses vary by discipline meaning that the fees for a program can vary depending on the courses selected. Course fees are reviewed on an annual basis and typically will increase from year to year. The tuition fees payable are dependent on the year of commencement and the courses selected and are subject to increase during the period of study.

For further information on Fees and Payment please see:


ANU offers a wide range of scholarships to students to assist with the cost of their studies.

Eligibility to apply for ANU scholarships varies depending on the specifics of the scholarship and can be categorised by the type of student you are.  Specific scholarship application process information is included in the relevant scholarship listing.

For further information see the Scholarships website.

As a Master of Science in Earth Sciences student, you’ll delve into the complex systems and processes that shape our planet at a time when understanding it has never been more important. You’ll be studying at Australia’s leading academic research institution for Earth sciences, ranked 9th in the world (QS, 2018). We have a reputation for international leadership and innovation, focused on developing new methods, whether experimental, analytical or computational. You'll study courses ranging from computational geosciences to analytical techniques, biogeochemistry, experimental petrology, geobiology, geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, ocean and climate change and planetary sciences. If you want cutting edge science training with some of the best facilities and experts in the world, check out our website for further information. Get the inside story on what it’s like to be an ANU student by visiting our student blog.

Career Options

ANU ranks among the world's very finest universities. Our nearly 100,000 alumni include political, business, government, and academic leaders around the world.

We have graduated remarkable people from every part of our continent, our region and all walks of life.

Employment Opportunities

A Master of Science in Earth Sciences gives you the opportunity to gain a wide range of knowledge and skills that are relevant for employment in industry, government agencies and education. It is an excellent qualification for pursuing a career in tectonics, geochronology, mineral exploration and hydrocarbon exploration.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate high level knowledge in their chosen study area.

  2. Interpret, synthesize and critically analyse published literature of relevance to the discipline;

  3. Acquire, analyse and interpret independent data, from field, laboratory or computational experiments.

  4. Apply their knowledge in the discipline to new problems;

  5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of science in society;

  6. Clearly communicate theory and results in both written and oral formats with university staff, peer students and the wider community on Earth Science topics.

Inherent Requirements

Information on inherent requirements is currently not available for this program.

Further Information

Students who are admitted to this program of study can explore the option of undertaking a signficant research component. Please discuss this with the program convener after completion of the first 24 units of study at the Master level.

Academic Advice

The first step to enrolling in your new program is to seek academic advice in order to discuss the courses you will be studying. This is done by making an appointment to meet with the program convener (details below).

Your academic advice session is a great opportunity to discuss with the convener the direction in which you want your studies to go. The convener will be able to advise you about course selection and content of courses that you will undertake as part of your program. Ideally you should bring along a copy of your academic record/academic transcripts as these will greatly assist your convener when giving you course advice.

To book an appointment you can:


Phone: 02 6125 3643

Please also bring along your Planning Your Program document that is available from the enrolment website and your Postgraduate coursework checklist for new students. These documents will help you plan your degree and assist you with finalising your enrolment.

Further enrolment information can also be found here.

An indicative list of courses offered by Science can be found here.

Please follow each step and read through the additional information in the pdf guides, especially the ISIS enrolment guide in Step 2 and the How to enrol guide for new students in Step 3.

If you have any issues enrolling yourself through ISIS please contact us on 02 6125 2809 or email

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