Master of Earth Sciences

Master of Earth Sciences (Advanced)


Why do droughts happen? What can we learn from life found in deep-sea volcanoes? The Master of Earth Sciences (Advanced) is your opportunity to explore the forces shaping the mountains, oceans, atmosphere and lands of earth for work in research, policy and management roles.

Study an Earth Sciences masters degree at Australia's national university and work with award winning scientists in the Research School of Earth Sciences as you study the delicate balance of life on our planet. Build your skills in conducting research to better understand mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and other fundamental areas of knowledge in the study of earth sciences.

Your education will be flexible, practical and highly interactive. You will learn from teams working on a variety of earth science projects including the acquisition and interpretation of seismological data, the use of machine learning to better understand geological history, and the study of deep earth in deep time.

Key facts

  • #1 in Australia and top #15 in the world for Earth & Marine Sciences (QS 2022)

  • #1 for Geophysics and #1 for Natural Sciences (QS 2022) in Australia

  • 2 years full time

  • Semester 1 & 2 intake

  • Study full time or part time

  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities

  • #1 in Australia for graduate employability (Times Higher Education)

World class facilities

Use state-of-the-art facilities and technology including gravity monitoring tools, machine learning platforms, an engineering workshop, mass spectrometers and cosmogenic nuclide, seismic stations, eco-chemistry, noble gas and data visualisation laboratories.

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Program details

The Master of Earth Sciences (Advanced) is a two-year program that provides you with the opportunity to consider the breadth and diversity of research topics within earth sciences to find a study area you are passionate about. You can explore biogeochemistry, ocean and climate change, seismology and mathematical geophysics, and experimental petrology.

This two-year degree program balances coursework studies alongside a significant research project supervised by an academic and is a gateway to further research, such as a PhD.


As a graduate, you will be highly employable for work in research, policy and management roles in Australia and across the world, including:

  • Project management
  • Research and analysis
  • Education and community awareness,
  • Policy.

A Master of Earth Sciences (Advanced) is an excellent qualification for pursuing a career in tectonics, geochronology, mineral exploration and hydrocarbon exploration.

Students graduate with the ability to carry out research on earth sciences in university, industry or government research institutions. Many staff in the school have strong links with industry, government and other relevant agencies to help support student research and career pathways.

The degree also prepares you for opportunities in scientific, biological, geological, geotechnical, meteorological, resource management and similar companies, or in government and public service positions.

The Australian National University has been ranked as the top university for graduate employability in Australia in the Global University Employability Ranking 2020. As a student at ANU, you gain access to the ANU CareerHub – an online career development and employability tool that includes a jobs board and careers resources. You also have access to drop-in chats with a career consultant and to attend our career fairs to meet potential employers.

Learning experience

Tharika Liyanage
Tharika Liyanage

Solving a very big (but very small) molecule mystery

Tharika Liyanage is going to make you excited about cheilanthanes - whether you know what they are or not.

Read about Tharika's research

Welcome to a geologist's paradise

Jack shares highlights from his three-week intensive geological field mapping course on the Greek islands.

Read Jack's travel blog
Earth Sciences Internship

Earth Science internship is a win-win

The Research School of Earth Sciences has launched a pilot internship program in the mining industry. Gain practical experience on mine sites and analyse minerals in the lab.

Find out about the internship
The team used the TerraWulf high-end computing cluster to generate their map. Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

TerraWulf Computer Cluster

Harness the TerraWulf Cluster's high end computing power for your demanding geoscience problems. Process datasets and simulate terrestrial models conveniently.

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Fees & scholarships


Please visit the Programs and Courses website for information about fees.

View fees


Whether you are looking for financial support to start your studies at ANU or help to move away from home for the first time, we have scholarship opportunities for you and your situation.


Professor Penny King

Professor Penny King

Penny examines the interaction of planetary materials with gases and the role of these processes in understanding the evolution of planetary environments and surfaces. Her areas of expertise are Geology, Geochemistry, Surface Processes and Mineralogy and Crystallography.

Andy Hogg

Professor Andy Hogg

Andy's research interests centre on physical processes governing the ocean and climate. His research focuses on Ocean Modelling, the Southern Ocean, Ocean Eddies and, Energy and mixing in the Ocean.

Nerilie Abram

Professor Nerilie Abram

Nerilie's research focuses on how the Earth’s climate has behaved over the last millennium, and what that tells us about the climate changes we are seeing now. The past climate records that she develops come from corals, caves and ice cores, and she combine these with climate model data to study climate changes.

Program administrators

David Heslop

Dr David Heslop, Program convener

Dave's research focuses on Earth's magnetic field and how naturally occurring magnetic minerals can be applied to environmental problems. His areas of expertise are geophysics and data science.

How to apply

Understand the how to apply steps

Visit the domestic postgraduate applications page to prepare for your application to ANU.

Domestic postgraduate applications

Understand the how to apply steps

Visit the international postgraduate applications page to prepare for your application to ANU.

International postgraduate applications

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