• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Specialisation code GOPT-SPEC
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Geochemistry and Petrology Specialisation

Corequisite majors: Earth Science or Marine Science


The formation and evolution of our planet and its dynamics manifested by plate tectonics is tightly linked to deep Earth processes such as magmatism and metamorphism. The specialisation in Geochemistry and Petrology will provide an understanding how the chemical building blocks combine to form minerals and rocks and how they change as a function of changing conditions within the Earth. Special emphasis will be placed on interactions of rocks with fluids and melts and how this contributes to chemical differentiation of Earth and ore body formation. Students will learn the sophisticated analytical tools and theoretical concepts that Geochemists and Petrologists use to read rocks, investigate complex systems and determine the duration of processes. Field studies are integrated in the offered courses and are an important component of this specialisation.

The specialisation in Geochemistry and Petrology, taken in conjunction with a major in Earth Science or a major in Marine Science will provide students with a pathway to higher degree research at Australian or overseas universities and prepares them for work in the mining and minerals industries, government agencies and science education.

Learning Goals:

On completing the specialisation in Geochemistry and Petrology students will be able to:

  1. Describe geological processes by using information from the field, rock and mineral specimens and thin sections.
  2. Comprehend magmatic and metamorphic processes and link them to different tectonic settings.
  3. Evaluate the results from a wide range of analytical, experimental and theoretical tools used to constrain deep Earth processes.
  4. Relate chemical differentiation of the Earth to element enrichment within distinct reservoirs and ore body formation.
  5. Combine their own observations with theory on case studies that are elaborated individually or in small groups and defend resulting working hypotheses in class.
  6. Present research outcomes in scientific reports and seminars to inform expert and non-expert audiences on deep Earth processes.

Other Information

Advice to Students

First year courses: CHEM1101 is highly desirable.

Students should seek further course advice from one of the academic conveners of the Geochemistry and Petrology specialisation.

A specialisation in Geochemistry and Petrology must be taken in conjunction with an Earth Science or Marine Science major.

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Specialisation Requirements

This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must include:

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
EMSC2023 Fundamentals of Geology 6
EMSC2024 Geochemistry 6

12 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
EMSC3001 Field Geology 6
EMSC3007 Economic Geology 6
EMSC3024 Magmatism and Metamorphism 6
EMSC3025 Groundwater 6
EMSC3050 Special Topics 6
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