• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Earth Physics, Geology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Andrew Roberts
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2022
    Second Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

This course provides an introduction to the research methods relevant to Earth Sciences, through a series of lectures, seminars, and workshops. Students learn key academic skills, and how to plan, manage, and present scientific research. It is fundamental preparation for EMSC8030 (Masters of Earth Sciences – Advanced - Research Project).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Plan, manage, and present scientific research.
  2. Appreciate research strategy.
  3. Explain the broader aspects of research and how it is conducted in the Earth Sciences.
  4. Communicate and debate research to and with both a peer audience and a non-specialist audience.
  5. Understand the principal features of a successful research proposal.
  6. Apply concepts from lectures and workshops to develop their own research proposal and project.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Research Proposal Critique: critique, review, and rank a series of research proposals, exploiting knowledge gained through lectures and the guidelines provided at the “Writing a Proposal” and “Academic Writing” workshops. (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Poster Preparation and Presentation: prepare a poster on a recent research paper, or series of papers, that is of interest, following guidelines provided. Present your poster at an organized poster session, alongside other students. This will teach critical thinking skills and an ability to synthesize complex ideas into a more compact framework. (30) [LO 1,4]
  3. Lay Description: on the same topic as that covered in the poster. Tests ability to write and summarize for a non-specialist audience, building on "Media Engagement" and "Writing for a Layperson" workshops. (30) [LO 1,4]

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 3 x 3 hour lectorials (lecture, seminars and tutorials) per week over a 6 week period..
  • Approximately 70 hours of self-study which will include substantial reading and preparation work required for engagement in face-to-face sessions.

Inherent Requirements

Not yet determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

Students must be enrolled in the Master of Earth Sciences (Advanced) program or the Master of Science in Earth Sciences Incompatible with EMSC4017.

Prescribed Texts

Planning and Managing Scientific Research: A guide for the beginning researcher (Author - Brian Kennett).

Preliminary Reading

Planning and Managing Scientific Research: A guide for the beginning researcher (Author - Brian Kennett).

Assumed Knowledge

An undergraduate-level background in Earth Sciences, or cognate subjects, such as Chemistry, Marine Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, or Physical Geography.


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
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
3187 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In Person N/A

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6180 25 Jul 2022 01 Aug 2022 31 Aug 2022 28 Oct 2022 In Person N/A

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