Master of Earth Science

Course 725-BB (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2008
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne

Tel: + 61 3 8344 6404
Fax: +61 3 8344 5803

Course Overview: In an increasingly globalised world, demanding ever more expertise, the Master of Earth Science provides high-quality training in line with trends in both Europe and North America. The program includes intensive one to two week-long theory and field-based units which have been taught for the last fourteen years by senior staff in the School of Earth Sciences. These have been formally evaluated by students, industry and government attendees to ensure their relevance and quality.

The School of Earth Sciences is a highly dynamic and innovative department, with an extremely strong research profile and excellent links with industry. The School houses the headquarters of both the Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) and the Predictive Mineral Discovery Cooperative Research Centre (PMDCRC). These connections with MTEC and PMDCRC will continue to guide the development of Masters-level study to provide the necessary professional qualification for graduates wishing to work in industry. In particular, MTEC will be involved in delivering new Masters-level subjects in ore deposits and geodynamics.

Objectives: The objective of the Master of Earth Science is to provide advanced training in three streams of the Earth Sciences to candidates from Australia and overseas. On completion of their studies, students will have been given opportunities to:
  • increase their knowledge and understanding of the relevant discipline and awareness of current developments and issues relating to this discipline;
  • develop independent and critical thinking;
  • improve oral and written communication skills;
  • acquire advanced research skills and techniques (for example, laboratory techniques and data collection and analysis);
  • engage in independent research, under appropriate supervision;
  • present their research findings in documented scholarly form; and
  • interact with many Australian and overseas students studying the same subjects.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: Candidates normally complete three Masters-level coursework subjects (3 x 25 points), and a minor thesis (25 points). Each 25 point coursework subject consists of 4 one to two week-long theory and field-based units selected from the range of electives offered each year in the VIEPS Handbook. VIEPS is the Victorian Institute of Earth and Planetary Science, comprising the Schools of Earth Science at the University of Melbourne and Monash University, who have been collaborating in Honours and post-graduate teaching since 1989. Some candidates with appropriate industry experience may apply to the Master of Earth Science Advisory Panel to undertake only two coursework subjects (2 x 25 points) and a larger minor thesis component (50 points).

A literature review and research plan are undertaken as part of the minor thesis which is submitted in late November with a presentation to the department in early December (or in May and June respectively for mid-year entry students).

Three streams are available in the coursework component of the program, based on the combination of subjects selected as indicated below:

Stream 1: Geodynamics & Petroleum

  • Basin Analysis and Structure
  • Petroleum & Energy Resources

Plus one of:

  • Geodynamics
  • Geophysics & 3D modelling

Stream 2: Geodynamics & Ore Deposits

  • Economic Geology
  • Geophysics & 3D modelling

Plus one of:

  • Basin Analysis & Structure
  • Geodynamics

Stream 3: Earth Systems

  • Environment & Earth Systems

Plus a choice of two of:

  • Geophysics and 3D modelling
  • Basin Analysis & Structure*
  • Geodynamics *
  • Petroleum & Energy Resources
  • Economic Geology

* Most common choices

To assist students in planning and completing the program, the Master of Earth Science Advisory Panel will provide:

  • individual course advice to candidates concerning the subjects to be taken within their stream; and
  • advice on preparing their literature review and choosing a minor thesis topic and supervisor.
Entry Requirements:
  • a four year honours degree in a relevant discipline, with an average of at least H2A (75%) in the fourth year, or equivalent; or
  • an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline and at least two years documented relevant work experience
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes: None
Links to further information:

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