Earth Sciences

Major/Minor/Specialisation !290AA-MAJ+1007 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012


Associate Professor Kevin Walsh




The Postgraduate Diploma is designed to allow Earth Scientists to upgrade their skills and/or retrain by undertaking a year (or longer part-time) of coursework and thesis studies. In addition, the Diploma is open to Science graduates with a background or work experience in Earth Sciences who wish to undertake further studies in Earth Science for business or pleasure. The Diploma studies are modular and available part-time to encourage participation from industry Earth Scientists.


Duration: The Postgraduate Diploma can be completed full-time in one year (100 points) or part-time over several years, allowing industry Earth Scientists to attend courses in 2-6 week blocks to complete subjects and carry out thesis and literature review studies remotely, if necessary. International students must take the diploma full-time. The Diploma involves completion of 12 one-week short courses, a literature review and a minor thesis.


Entry Requirements: Admission is open to candidates with a Bachelor of Science degree specialising in Earth Sciences, or with a Bachelor of Science degree with a background or work experience in Earth Sciences. Candidates will usually commence studies at the beginning of February, but mid-year starts are also possible.

  • increase their knowledge and understanding of Earth Sciences and awareness of current developments and issues relating to studies of our planet;
  • develop independent and critical thinking skills;
  • improve oral and written communication skills.
Structure & Available Subjects:

The School of Earth Sciences offers a wide variety of one-week theory/practical or field studies from which to choose; typically there are 30 such short courses available each year, of which candidates must complete 12. These are offered within the formal 12.5 point subjects listed for the MSc (Earth Sciences), all of which are available to Postgraduate Diploma students with authorisation from the coordinator. Please see the MSc (Earth Sciences) handbook entry. This allows the Postgraduate Diploma candidate to specialise in a particular aspect of Earth Science or attain more broadly-based expertise.

In addition to the coursework requirement (75 points), the Postgraduate Diploma also requires the completion of a literature review and minor thesis (25 points).

Candidates who attain an average mark of over 65% may be eligible to upgrade their studies to the Master of Science (MSc) or honours degree.

Two options are available regarding your research topic:

  1. You may have your own research topic and dataset in mind, particularly if you are coming from industry.
  2. You may wish to undertake a research project offered by one of the many academics within the School of Earth Sciences.

In both cases you can contact the Postgraduate Coursework Coordinator directly at who will direct your enquiry to the appropriate specialist in the School of Earth Sciences, or you can investigate the Earth Sciences staff members on this website and contact them directly .

Subject Options:

Students will select 75 points from the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012
Semester 1
Not offered in 2012

Students may also select up to 25 points of approved third-year subjects in Earth Sciences.

Research Project

Students must complete the following Research Project subject:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Science

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