A turtle swimming just below the surface of the water

Master of Science in Earth Sciences

Degree overview

As a Master of Science in Earth Sciences student, you’ll delve into the complex systems and processes that shape our planet, at Australia’s leading academic research institution for earth sciences.

You’ll study courses from different earth science disciplines including computational geosciences, data sciences, analytical techniques, biogeochemistry, experimental petrology, geobiology, geochemistry, geochronology, geology, geophysics, ocean and climate change and planetary sciences.

Our practical classes build on your traditional technical knowledge while developing your skills in new cutting-edge experimental techniques.

What you'll learn

In the first year, students complete a set of introductory courses which augment the skills and knowledge from their undergraduate degrees, courses in science communication and courses designed to develop an understanding of the role of science in society and business. In the second year, students take a set of lecture based courses with broad applicability, courses on current research frontiers in the earth sciences, in addition to a capstone: a self-directed, project-based course designed to integrate a broad range of skills required for the earth sciences.

Student experience

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.

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.

 Virtual tour

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

Meet some of your teachers

Dr Rhodri Davies

Dr Rhodri Davies

Over the past 10 years, Rhodri has developed sophisticated tools for simulating mantle convection, whilst also demonstrating the power of these to improve our understanding of mantle dynamics. 

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.


A Master of Science in Earth Sciences gives you the opportunity to gain a wide range of knowledge and skills that are relevant for employment in industry, government agencies and education. It is an excellent qualification for pursuing a career in tectonics, geochronology, mineral exploration and hydrocarbon exploration.

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 what it is like to study Earth Sciences at ANU and hear from current students, Emily Oboroski and Baoyi Huang about their experiences.

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!


Need more information?

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