• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Environmental Studies, Earth Physics, Geology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Louis Moresi
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

See https://www.anu.edu.au/covid-19-advice. In Sem 1 2022, this course is delivered on campus with adjustments for remote participants.

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of computer programming and the Python programming language. It is targeted towards the needs of geoscientists. The course is designed to: (i) develop students’ problem-solving skills; (ii) give students a clear understanding of the fundamental concepts of computer programming, such that they are in a good position to learn any programming language required for their research; and (iii) ensure that all students have core competencies in the Python programming language, which will later be utilized in their research for tasks such as modeling, scripting, analyzing and processing data and generating high-quality figures for presentations and publications.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Apply strategies for: Breaking complex tasks down into manageable pieces; Tackling such tasks, and verifying that results are sound; Identifying and resolving undesired or unexpected results.
  2. Apply Python in their research work, including: Read and write data files in a variety of formats; Create figures and animations suitable for analysing or presenting results; Undertake simple computational modeling and simulation tasks.
  3. Recognize the fundamental concepts of programming and computer science, supporting the development of more advanced skills through self-study and further practice.
  4. Teach themselves other programming languages (e.g. Matlab, Fortran, C, …) as required.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assignment 1 - completed in class during first half of course (20) [LO 1,4]
  2. Assignment 2 + oral exam - completed in own time following end of lectures (80) [LO 2,3]

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.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of approximately 30 hours of lecture attendance and approximately 30 hours of practical sessions throughout the semester.
  • Approximately 70 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, practicals and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in either EMSC-HSPC or POTE-HSPC Honours programs. Incompatible with EMSC8033.

Prescribed Texts

None specified

Assumed Knowledge

An undergraduate-level background in Earth Sciences, or cognate subjects, such as Chemistry, Marine Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and Physical Geography. Students are assumed to be competent general computer users, but no prior knowledge of programming is required. Some familiarity with basic mathematics is also assumed.


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
2022 $4200
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $6000
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.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3178 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In Person View

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