Honours in Earth & Marine Science

What is it?

Honours is a one-year specialisation that can be taken after completing the requirements of a 3 year Bachelor Degree in Science: http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/program/HSC

In Earth and Marine Science Honours, the principal component involves a research project conducted under supervision of a research scientist. This will introduce you to all aspects of scientific research: experimental design, data collection, statistical analysis, scientific writing and publishing.  In addition you will do several units of coursework - selected to compliment your research.

The Honours year is very different from your earlier years at University. As an Honours student you work mostly on your own (with assistance and encouragement from your supervisor and other academic staff), at your own speed, and you make your own decisions on how your work and research should proceed.

Honours is important if you wish to continue on to a PhD and pursue a career as a research scientist. However, even if you do not think you want a research career, a wider range of career options become available with the additional training and experience that Honours provides. Honours equips students with the scientific, technical, problem-solving and communication skills they will need to successfully tackle the challenges of any job.

Honours is also a rewarding and social year that most students really enjoy.

Honours  in Earth and Marine Science can be undertaken full time or part time.  Please refer to http://programsandcourses.anu.edu.au/specialisation/EMSC-HSPC for further details on the requirements. (Please note - students can also select any Science  4000 level course as part of their coursework component on approval from the Honours convenor). More information is listed below under "Further Information"

How to apply?

Students need to identify a research project and find an academic supervisor when applying for Honours year.  Students who are interested in Honours should contact the Honours Convenors to discuss entry requirements and to get advise on finding a project and supervisor

Dr Brad Opdyke: Ph: (+61 2) 6125 4205 or Email: bradley.opdyke@anu.edu.au

Prof Ian Campbell: Ph (+61 2) 6125 4366 or Email: ian.campbell@anu.edu.au

The closing date for semester one entry is 30 November, and the semester two closing date is the last Friday in June

How to apply


Examples of projects

To find a project you may be interested in please visit the Projects page.

Projects are an indication of the topics available.Check the Information about current research and researchers at RSES.


RSES and ANU have a range of scholarships available to both local and international honours students.

These scholarships have a close date of 30 November each year for applications except for Action Trust Scholarship which has an application close date of 31 March each year.

There may be other suitable scholarships available. Visit the scholarships page for more information.

Further information

The Earth and Marine Sciences Honours specialisation requires the completion of 48 units, which must consist of:

A minimum of 24 units from completion of EMSC4005 Earth and Marine Sciences Honours Thesis.

6 units from completion of EMSC4017 Research Methods and Proposal - this course is compulsory

A maximum of 18 units from completion of courses from the following list:

EMSC4020 Analytical Techniques and Data Analysis

EMSC4123 Data Analysis

EMSC4122 Analytical Techniques 

EMSC4018 Advanced Water and Marine Geosciences

EMSC4109 Advanced Earth Physics

EMSC4121 Advanced Geochemistry

or any Science 4000 level course with permission from the Honours convenor.

A list of other available EMSC4000 level courses can be viewed below (most of these courses are taught with an equivalent undergraduate level course):


Structural Geology and Tectonics


The Blue Planet: an introduction to Earth system science


Introduction to Structural and Field Geology


Sedimentology and Stratigraphy


Chemistry of Planet Earth


Geobiology and Evolution of Life on Earth


Fundamentals of Climate System Science


Marine Biogeochemistry


Magmatism and Metamorphism




Palaeoclimatology and Climate Change


Melting polar ice sheets, sea level variations & climate change


Special Topics in Earth Science


Advanced Earth Physics


Rocks and Minerals


Analytical Techniques


Data Analysis


Introduction to Natural Hazards





The Honours Convenor and your supervisor can advise on the selection of these courses.

For further information please contact either Dr. Brad Opdyke, Honours convenor:

T: (+61 2) 6125 4205

E: bradley.opdyke@anu.edu.au

Or Prof Ian Campbell, Honours convenor

T: (+61 2) 6125 4366

E: ian.campbell@anu.edu.au

Or, Email:  teaching.rses@anu.edu.au

Guidelines for current Honours Students

The College of Sciences provides useful information for current Honours students.


Updated:  24 May 2019/Responsible Officer:  RSES Webmaster/Page Contact:  RSES Webmaster