• 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, Mathematics, Renewable Energy, Climate, Earth Physics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Callum Shakespeare
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

Understanding the weather and climate - and how it is now changing - is of vital importance to the Australian industry and society. The goal of this course is to provide students with a quantitative understanding of the ocean and atmosphere processes that underpin weather and climate. The course content begins with the fundamentals of fluid flow and how air/ocean flows are modelled (e.g., weather and climate prediction) using equations solved by computers; and as part of the course, students will learn to run and analyse their own climate system model. We will then investigate key dynamical processes in the ocean and atmosphere including planetary waves, weather fronts, convection, ocean boundary currents, swell, and ocean eddies, with student learning supported by hands-on fluid dynamics experiments in the world-class Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the Research School of Earth Sciences. In the final part of the course, we will develop quantitative understanding of the coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics that regulate Australian weather and rainfall, including the El Nino Southern Oscillation, Southern Annular Mode, Tropical Cyclones and the Monsoon.

Key components of the course will be informed using insights from ongoing research within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Climate Extremes (CLEx) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Weather of the 21st Century (W21C).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate the fundamental dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere
  2. Evaluate the coupled climate dynamics that underpin Australian weather
  3. Construct, analyse and critique numerical climate system models
  4. Collect and interrogate climate data to evaluate hypotheses
  5. Effectively communicate scientific results and uncertainty

Indicative Assessment

  1. Weekly problem sets (tutorials) (15) [LO 1,2]
  2. 1 scientific paper developed over the semester based on the computational laboratories (25) [LO 2,3,4,5]
  3. 3 lab reports based on the fluid dynamics laboratory exercises (25) [LO 1,4,5]
  4. Final exam (35) [LO 1,2,5]

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

  • Face-to-face component which consists of 1 x 2 hour tutorial and 1 x 3 hour laboratory per week
  • Watching online lecture videos will typically take 1 hour per week.
  • Approximately 58 hours of self-directed study which will include preparation for laboratories/tutorials and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed EMSC2021, as well as MATH1003 or MATH1013 or MATH1115. Incompatible: PHYS3039

Prescribed Texts



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
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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
4071 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

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