• Class Number 6153
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Andrew Berry
    • Prof Andrew Berry
    • Dr Caroline Eakin
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course provides an introduction to the key physical and chemical processes that shape our planet.

The main emphasis will be on the fundamental processes that controlled Earth's formation and evolution, and those that currently control mountain building and earthquakes, continental crust formation and volcanoes.

The skills needed to identify minerals and rocks, the building blocks of this planet will be taught through lectures, practicals and field trips. This course is a hands on introduction to all aspects of geology.

A second key aspect will be to explain how Earth scientists extract past climate history from the rock record. The basic skills needed to interpret Earth's ancient history will be taught during practical sessions.

The course will also examine the origin of Earth's surface, its landscapes, climate system, and environments that support life, and how they have developed through Earth's history. Geological time will be explored through introductions to the geochronological tools used to track events through Earth's history.

Some quantitative aspects of the Earth Sciences will also be presented

Honours Pathway Option

Students enrolled in the Honours pathway option (HPO) will be required to do some alternative assessment. The material will be set at a higher conceptual level,  requiring more advanced and extensive research.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify common rocks and minerals
  2. Undertake basic field mapping
  3. Report the history of the Earth and relate it to processes that shape our planet today
  4. Combine field observations with theory learned in class
  5. Apply an understanding of time and space to the evolution of continents and life on Earth
  6. Comprehend the role of geological processes in controlling natural hazards
  7. Unravel changes in past environments from a variety of data and relate this to the potential impacts of future climate change.

Field Trips

5 day field trip to the South Coast of NSW, Monday 5th - Friday 9th September (first week of mid-semester break).

Please see the field trip information page for more information.

Additional Course Costs

Student contribution of approximately $350 for the field trip, which includes all transport, accommodation, and meals (except lunch on the first day).

Payable via the ScienceShop

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

There is no additional work required for HPO but certain tasks have additional questions that will be more challenging and assessed at a higher level.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Geophysics: Lectures and one practical
2 Geophysics: Lectures and one practical
3 Geophysics: Lectures and one practical
4 Geology: Lectures and one practical
5 Geology: Lectures and one practical
6 Geology: Lectures and one practical
7 Geophysics: Lectures and one practical
8 Geophysics: Lectures and one practical
9 Geophysics: Lectures and one practical Geophysics Practical Test
10 Geology: Lectures and one practical
11 Geology: Lectures and one practical
12 Geology: Lectures and one practical Geology Practical Test

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Geophysics Practical Test 15 % 07/10/2022 3
Geology Practical Test 15 % 28/10/2022 1
Field Trip 30 % 09/09/2022 1,2,4,7
Theory Exam 40 % * 2,3,5,6,7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams, the due date and return date indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held and results returned to the student (official end of Semester results released on ISIS). Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 07/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 3

Geophysics Practical Test

Problem set. The test will assess understanding of the practical exercises in weeks 1, 2, 3, 7, 8. The test will take place during the practical in week 9.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 28/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1

Geology Practical Test

Identification of rocks and minerals. The test will assess understanding of the practical exercises in weeks 4, 5, 6, 10, 11. The test will take place during the practical in week 12.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 09/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,7

Field Trip

Geological map (20%), cross section (20%), stratigraphic column (20%), independent exercise (10%), field notebook (30%). All work is handed in during the field trip.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,5,6,7

Theory Exam

The date range in the Assessment Summary indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assessments will be returned within 2 weeks to students

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is not permitted

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Andrew Berry

Research Interests

Prof Andrew Berry

Prof Andrew Berry

Research Interests

Prof Andrew Berry

Dr Caroline Eakin

Research Interests

Dr Caroline Eakin

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