• 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
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Andrew Berry
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course EMSC6008
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, 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.

Other Information

There will be a 5 day fieldtrip to the South Coast.  The tentative date for the 2017 fieldtrip is Monday September 4 - Friday September 8 inclusive.  The cost for this fieldtrip is expected to be $350-$450.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Assessed practicals (30% LO 1-2,  3-5)
  • Field trip assignment (25% LO 2-4)
  • Theory exam (45% LO 1, 3-7) 

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.


65 contact hours, comprising up to 3 hours per week of lectures and 1: 3 hour practical per week, plus a 5 day fieldtrip.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with EMSC6008

Indicative Reading List

Understanding Earth by Frank Press and Raymond Siever




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and 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). You can find your student contribution amount for each course 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
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
8167 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person

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