Master of Science (Geography)

Course MC-SCIGEO (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 062189B
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Dr Russell Drysdale



Melbourne Graduate School of Science
Faculty of Science
The University of Melbourne

T: +61 3 8344 6128
F: +61 3 8344 3351


Course Overview:

The Master of Science (Geography) is a coursework masters degree incorporating a substantial research project.
The Master of Science gives students the opportunity to undertake a substantive research project in a field of choice as well as a broad range of coursework subjects including a professional skills component, as a pathway to PhD study or to the workforce.


At the completion of this course, students should:

  • be familiar with current debates in their chosen field of geographic inquiry;
  • be able to develop research questions from a critical reading of a body of literature;
  • be able to design a field or laboratory based research project; and
  • gain an understanding of major conceptual debates in physical geography, and their implications for research methodology.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Students must complete 200 pts including:

  • Discipline Core subject (12.5 points);
  • Discipline Elective subjects (37.5 points)
  • Further Discipline Elective subjects (25 points);
  • Professional Skills subjects (25 points);
  • Research Project (100 points).

This course is only available on a full-time basis commencing in semester one.

Subject Options:

Discipline Core

Students must take:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Discipline Electives

Students must take 37.5 points from the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Further Discipline Electives

Students must select two of the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2

* Students are permitted to take up to two 3rd-year subjects as discipline electives:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Professional Skills

Students must select two of the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012

Research Project

Students must complete a 23,000 word thesis during the second year of the course (100%). Students will select an approved Geography topic/research project in consultation with the supervisor/s. Student must also write a research proposal, give an oral presentation on the proposed research and an oral presentation towards the end of the project summing up the results of the research. The thesis should demonstrate a critical application of specialist knowledge and make an independent contribution to existing scholarship in the area of research.

The research project will be taken over four consecutive semesters and will begin on the Monday of the first semester of research project enrolment (semesters 1 only) (indicative for 2012: Monday 27th February) and continue until the end of the final semester of research project enrolment. The research project work continues over summer and winter breaks, minus recreation leave of 4 weeks per year

For how long and at what time within the enrolment the actual period of leave is to be taken needs to be negotiated with a student's supervisor.

The thesis will be due for submission at the end of the formal examination period of the final semester of research project enrolment (usually fourth semester) if an earlier date is not specified.

Students may enrol in a combination of research project subjects and coursework subjects as long as once the Research Project is commenced, the consecutive enrolment requirement is met and to ensure they have completed a total of 100 points for the research project by the end of their course.

Students may need to enrol in a subject of the same credit point value more than once which is why there are multiple Geography Research Project subjects of the same points value.

Some enrolment examples are available on the Melbourne Graduate School website - . Students are encouraged to review these examples to inform their ISIS enrolment.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

An undergraduate degree with a major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Science, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Geography or Zoology, with at least an H3 (65%) in the major, or equivalent.

Quotas may be applied and preference may be given to applicants with evidence of appropriate preparation or potential to undertake research. Entry is subject to the capacity of the department to provide adequate supervision in, and resources for, a research project appropriate to the interests and preparation of the individual student and may be subject to the agreement of a member of academic staff to supervise the project module. Selection is not automatic and, in particular, is subject to competition.

Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a course are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant course coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.

Further Study:

The Master of Science offers a pathway to a PhD.

Graduate Attributes:

Graduates will:

  • have the ability to demonstrate advanced independent critical enquiry, analysis and reflection;
  • have a strong sense of intellectual integrity and the ethics of scholarship;
  • have in-depth knowledge of their specialist discipline(s);
  • reach a high level of achievement in writing, research or project activities, problem-solving and communication;
  • be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning;
  • be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines;
  • have a set of flexible and transferable skills for different types of employment; and
  • be able to initiate and implement constructive change in their communities, including professions and workplaces.
Links to further information:

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