Understanding how our planet works has been a human ambition for many centuries. Earth Science deals with complex systems and brings together aspects of chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology to understand the processes that shape our planet. Earth Science is central to many pressing issues of our time such as the supply of resources including energy and water, climate change and natural hazards.

    The major in Earth Science will examine the origin of Earth from its beginning as one of several planets orbiting the sun to the evolution through time of rocks, the oceans and the atmosphere and how this made life on Earth possible. In the past 50 years, we have come to appreciate the global mobility of plates encapsulated in the paradigm of plate tectonics. Interactions between plates generate earthquakes, mountain belts and volcanos. In addition to understanding the fundamental mechanisms driving these global forces, Earth Scientists are engaged in understanding the origins of global resources. An increasingly important aspect of Earth Science is the understanding of past and present climate systems through integrated studies of the interactions between the lithosphere, oceans, atmosphere and biosphere.

    Studying the Earth involves testing hypotheses and many opportunities arise in the major for field studies. A major in Earth Sciences opens up possibilities for work in the mining and minerals industries, government agencies and science education. It serves as a pathway to higher degree research at Australian or overseas universities.


    Graduates from ANU have been rated as Australia's most employable graduates and among the most sought after by employers worldwide.

    The latest Global Employability University Ranking, published by the Times Higher Education, rated ANU as Australia's top university for getting a job for the fourth year in a row

    Learning Outcomes

    1. Gather and interpret data from a wide range of Earth Science disciplines, using a variety of techniques.
    2. Draw on diverse learning environments, from the field to the laboratory to the classroom by individual and group learning, combining field observation with experiments, modelling and theory.
    3. Have an understanding of the history of and debates within the discipline of Geology and how they have influenced modern Earth Science.
    4. Apply an understanding of time (evolution of continents, oceans and life over billions of years) and space (nano to planetary scales) to a variety of contexts.
    5. Perform process-oriented, multidisciplinary studies to critically evaluate models and test hypotheses on how our planet works.
    6. Write scientific reports, and communicate effectively with university staff, peer students and the wider community on Earth Science topics.
    7. Conduct themselves in a way that reflects professional expectations within the discipline.



    Applicants must have either completed recognized upper secondary studies to the required standard and recognised by ANU as comparable to Australian Year 12 (ATAR 80) or completed at least one year of tertiary study to the required standard

    • TOEFL: Paper-based score: 570 (min. 4.5 in TWE). Internet-based score: 80 (min. 20 reading and writing, 18 in speaking and listening
    • IELTS Academic:  6.5 overall (min. 6.0 in each subtest)
    • PTE Academic: 64 overall (min. 55 in each of the communicative skills)
    • Cambridge CAE: 176 overall (min.169 in each subtest)



    The Australian National University

    Acton Campus,


    Australian Capital Territory,

    2601, CANBERRA, Australia

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