University of Sydney Handbooks - 2013 Archive

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Geology and Geophysics

Study in the discipline of Geology and Geophysics is offered by the School of Geosciences in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

Programme structure and content

Geology and Geophysics provides a unifying context for understanding the surface and internal planetary processes that determine how the earth functions as a system. Global climate change, an increasing population and shrinking mineral and energy resources have heightened our sense of dependence on our earth's complex natural systems and increased our need to understand the dynamic structural relationships between the continents and oceans which provide the physical habitat for the earth's various ecosystems. Geology and Geophysics provides students with an understanding of change on Earth, its origin, plate tectonics, surface processes, evolution of life and geologic time.

Intermediate units highlight the role of the earth system in all natural phenomena, including those of concern to humans such as geo-biodiversity, salinity, seismicity, volcanic hazards, climate and sea level change. Senior units of study cover methods of field data collection and provide access to cutting edge computing and data resources used for turning such observations into knowledge. Students will acquire the skills necessary for employment in all areas of sustainable exploration and management of our natural, mineral and energy resources.

First year planning for a major in Geology and Geophysics

Recommended: GEOS1001/1901 and GEOS1003/1903 and 12 credit points of other Junior units of study.

Requirements for a major

For a major in Geology & Geophysics, the minimum requirement is 24 credit points from Senior units listed in this subject area, which must include GEOS3008/3908 and GEOS3101/3801.


Entry into fourth year Honours will require completion of units in Intermediate and Senior Geology and Geophysics units (to be passed at the level of credit or better) and a satisfactory WAM. In some years when the number of applicants exceeds resources (availability of supervisors, laboratory space etc) offers will be made according to academic merit. Students will be notified in January of their formal acceptance into the Honours programme.

Honours contact

Honours coordinator: Associate Professor Bill Pritchard

Phone: +61 2 9351 3309

Deputy Honours coordinator: Dr Derek Wyman
Phone: +61 2 9351 2924

Contact/further information

Phone: +61 2 9351 2912

School of Geosciences
Room 348, Madsen Building F09
University of Sydney
NSW 2006