Aerial photo of land, sea and clouds in Norway

Master of Earth Sciences(Advanced)

Degree overview

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.

What you'll learn

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.

Student experience

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.

Welcome to a geologist's paradise

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

An Earth Science student analyses minerals in the Centre for Advanced Microscopy

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.

 Virtual tour

Explore ANU science places, classrooms, laboratories and more through our interactive virtual tour.

Meet some of your teachers

Dr 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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees: Tuition fees

Visit the handbook to see indicative fees.

Featured scholarships: Featured scholarships

ANU offers many scholarships both to overcome disadvantage and to recognise academic merit.

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Watch the webinar

Learn about different areas of Earth Sciences, examples of careers and employment trends, as well as an overview of studying the Master of Earth Sciences (Advanced) at ANU.

How to apply

Understand the entry requirements

  1. Check domestic admission dates on the ANU Study website.
  2. Check admission requirements and deadlines for this degree on the Handbook website. Read the requirements carefully to make sure you understand them.
  3. You must also meet the University's English language admission requirements.

Gather supporting documents

If you graduated from an Australian university, UAC will be able to access your results in most cases. However, you may be asked to provide transcripts or other documentation, so it is a good idea to prepare your records just in case.

You can still apply before you complete your bachelor degree if you are in your final year, and you must advise UAC in your application. You may need to provide a copy of your academic transcript directly to UAC as soon as you complete your degree. UAC will provide instructions during the application process.

Submit an application

Start your application on the Universities Admissions Centre website.

Receive an offer

All offers are made through UAC and are released on a rolling basis. You can access your offers and correspondence by logging into your UAC account.

Accept your offer

Once you receive an offer it is very important that you accept it to ensure your place at ANU is reserved.

Understand the entry requirements

  1. Check international admission dates on the ANU Study website.
  2. Check admission requirements and deadlines for this degree on the Handbook website. Read the requirements carefully to make sure you understand them.
  3. You must also meet the University's English language admission requirements.

Prepare entry requirements & support documents

When you apply to ANU, you must be prepared to provide specific documents that we need to assess your application.

Submit your application

Start your application on the ANU Admissions website.

Receive an offer

You can apply at any time throughout the year. Most applications submitted before the 15th day of each month will be considered for an offer on the 1st day of the following month.

You can change your degree preference between the 9th and 15th day of each month. You will have two months to accept your offer from ANU.

View the application dates on the ANU Admissions website.

Accept your offer

Accept the offer and enrol at ANU!


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