• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Chemistry
  • Major code CLSC-MAJ

Climate change is the largest scientific challenge facing humanity. Adapting to ongoing climate change depends on a strong scientific understanding of the fundamental climatic processes that form an integral component of Earth system science.

The ANU’s Climate Science major is a unique multidisciplinary climate science program that provides a foundation in atmospheric science, chemistry, physics, biology, statistics and scientific programming. Emphasis is placed on understanding past, present and future climate variability and change through a range of statistical, modelling, laboratory and field approaches.

This major equips students with a theoretical and analytical toolkit for understanding the scientific basis needed to adapt to future climate variability and climate change. A major in Climate Science opens up possibilities for work in government agencies, the research sector and science education. It serves as a pathway to higher degree climate science research at Australian or overseas universities.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Think critically about climate science issues, integrate information, and construct logical, consistent and synthesised arguments.

  2. Quantitatively analyse climate data and climate model output using a variety of observations and techniques.

  3. Draw on diverse learning environments including field, laboratory and classroom settings encompassing individual and group learning.

  4. Perform process-oriented, multidisciplinary studies to critically evaluate hypotheses and models on how our climate system and the life within operate.

  5. Write scientific reports and communicate efficiently with university staff, peer students and the wider community on Climate Science topics.

Other Information

What 1st year courses should you enrol in? Either MATH1003, MATH1013 or MATH1115 (required for EMSC2021) and either CHEM1101, PHYS1001 or PHYS1101. EMSC1006 is encouraged.

  • This major is self contained. Students should note that CHEM1101 requires an ACT major in Chemistry or NSW HSC Chemistry, or equivalent, or successful completion of a bridging course in Chemistry. Students with a level of mathematics equivalent to ACT Mathematical Methods should enroll in MATH1003. PHYS1101 has MATH1013 as a co-requisite.
  • Students are encouraged in first year to take appropriate foundation courses in earth science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology and /or environmental science, because of the interdisciplinary nature of Climate Sciences.
  • Students can only complete one special topics course: either EMSC3050 or ENVS3016. In order to contribute towards this major, the special topic must be in the field of Climate Science

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of the Climate Science major.

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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

 6 units from the completion of a 1000- level MATH courses from courses from the following list:

MATH1003 Algebra and Calculus Methods (6 units)

MATH1013 Mathematics and Applications 1 (6 units) or MATH1115 - Advanced Mathematics and Applications 1

 6 units from the completion of a course from the following list:

CHEM1101 Chemistry 1 (6 units)

PHYS1001 Foundations of Physics (6 units)

PHYS1101 Physics 1 (6 units)

18 units from the completion of courses from the following list:

EMSC1006 The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Science (6 units)

ENVS2004 Fire, Flood and Drought (6 units)

EMSC2021 Fundamentals of Climate Science (6 units)

EMSC3027 Palaeoclimatology and Climate Change (6 units)

ENVS3013 Climate Change: Past, Present and Future (6 units)

 18 units from completion of courses from the following lists or additional 3000-level courses in the above lists not previously taken:

EMSC3019 Coral Reef Field Studies (6 units)

EMSC3032 Melting Polar Ice Sheets, Sea Level Variations and Climate Change (6 units)

EMSC3025 Groundwater (6 units)

ENVS3020 Climate Change: Science, Society and Policy (6 units)

ENVS3029 Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction (6 units)

A maximum of 6 units from completion of a Special Topics course from the following list (the special topic must be in the field of Climate Science):

EMSC3050 Special Topics (6 units)

ENVS3016 Special Topics (6 units)

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