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Master of Science - Earth Sciences

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  • Objectives
    This course aims to:

    * equip students with discipline-specific knowledge and expertise appropriate for post-graduate research in the Earth Sciences field;
    * exercise critical judgement;
    * undertake rigorous and independent thinking;
    * adopt a problem-solving approach to new and unfamiliar tasks.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Science - Earth Sciences
  • Course description
    Students must complete 200 points comprising:

        * 50 - 62.5 points of the discipline module;
        * 12.5 - 25 points of the Professional Tools module; and
        * 125 points of the Research Project module.

    Two streams are offered in the Master of Science (Earth Sciences program): the Atmospheric Science stream and the Geology stream.

    Atmospheric Science stream

    Core discipline subjects
    (50 points)

    Students must take all of the following:

        * 625-662 Mesoscale Atmospheric Dynamics (not offered in 2009);
        * 625-661 Climate Analysis and Modelling;
        * 625-660 Atmosphere-Ocean Interaction and Climate;
        * 625-656 Current Topics in Atmospheric Science (not offered in 2009).

    Elective discipline subjects
    (12.5 points)

    Students must choose a further 12.5 points from Master of Science (Earth Sciences program: Geology stream) subjects, Professional Tools subjects or 300-level Science subjects. One elective from another stream within the Master of Science or the Master of Environment  may also be approved on a case-by-case basis.

    Professional tools (12.5 -25 points)

    Students must take at least one Professional Tools subjects from the following list:

    Business Tools

    • 600-614 Business Tools: Money, People and Projects.

    Science Tools


    • Critical Analysis in Science (available semester 2, 2010);
    • eScience (available semester 2, 2010);
    • 600-617 Systems Modelling and Simulation;
    • 600-618 Ethics and Responsibility in Science;
    • 600-615 Thinking and Reasoning with Data.

    Communication Tools


    • 600-616 Science in Context,
    • 600-619 Science and Communication.

    Research

    Research Project (125 points)

    Students will gain research experience in Earth Sciences by completing an original research project in their main field of interest. The amount of work completed in this project should be comparable to that undertaken for a published journal article, and students will be encouraged to submit their work for publication. Although the assessment weighting for the literature review may be viewed as low given the word limit, particularly when compared with the final thesis, the former is largely a ‘reading topic’, from which the student is expected to place their research project into a broader context. In contrast, and as noted above, the final thesis is expected to be a far more rigorous scientific document, showing an appropriate level of insight and scientific interpretation of results, and be of publishable quality. The assessment for the Research Project is therefore:

        * a project-related oral presentation (5%);
        * a literature review (5%, with a word limit of 4,000 words);
        * a thesis (90%, with a word limit of 25,000 words).

    Students enrolled in the Master of Science (Earth Sciences program) are required to complete a 125 point Research Project. Subject to supervisor approval, students may enrol in a combination of Research Project subjects as indicated below over their two years of full-time study or over their four years of part-time study, to ensure they have completed a total of 125 points by the end of their course.

        * 625-671 Research Project - 12.5 points
        * 625-672 Research Project - 25.0 points
        * 625-673 Research Project - 37.5 points
        * 625-675 Research Project - 50.0 points

    Geology stream

    Core discipline subjects (50 points)

    Students must take four of the following, two of which are required to correspond to their thesis topic:

    • 625-653 Geoscience in the Field;
    • 625-654 Hydrogeology and the Environment;
    • 625-652 Geophysics;
    • 625-659 Deposit Models and Mineral Exploration;
    • 625-624 The Geology of Ore Deposits;
    • 625-622 Digital Geoscience;
    • 625-651 Geochemistry and Geochronology;
    • 625-626 Surface Processes and Geodynamics;
    • 625-650 Energy (not offered in 2009);
    • 625-655 Palaeontology and Biogeochemistry (not offered in 2009);
    • 625-627 Structural Geology and Geodynamics;
    • 625-657 Current Topics in Geology A,
    • 625-658 Current Topics in Geology B.

    Elective discipline subjects (12.5 points)

    Students must also take a further 12.5 points of approved coursework subjects, selected either from the above subjects, professional tools subjects, or from 300-level geology subjects.

    Electives from another stream within the Master of Science or the Master of Environment may also be approved on a case-by-case basis.

    Professional tools (12.5 -25 points)

    Students must take at least one Professional Tools subjects from the following list:

    Business Tools

    • 600-614 Business Tools I: People, Money and Projects.

    Science Tools
    • Critical Analysis in Science (not offered in 2009);
    • eScience (not offered in 2009),
    • 600-617 Systems Modelling and Simulation,
    • 600-618 Ethics and Responsibility in Science,
    • 600-615 Thinking and Reasoning with Data.

    Communication Tools

    • 600-616 Science in Context;
    • 600-619 Science and Communication,

    Research

    Research Project
    (125 points)

    Students will gain research experience in Earth Sciences by completing an original research project in their main field of interest. The amount of work completed in this project should be comparable to that undertaken for a published journal article, and students will be encouraged to submit their work for publication. Although the assessment weighting for the literature review may be viewed as low given the word limit, particularly when compared with the final thesis, the former is largely a ‘reading topic’, from which the student is expected to place their research project into a broader context. In contrast, and as noted above, the final thesis is expected to be a far more rigorous scientific document, showing an appropriate level of insight and scientific interpretation of results, and be of publishable quality. The assessment for the Research Project is therefore:

        * a project-related oral presentation (5%);
        * a literature review (5%, with a word limit of 4,000 words);
        * a thesis (90%, with a word limit of 25,000 words).

    Students enrolled in the Master of Science (Earth Sciences program) are required to complete a 125 point Research Project. Subject to supervisor approval, students may enrol in a combination of Research Project subjects as indicated below over their two years of full-time study or over their four years of part-time study, to ensure they have completed a total of 125 points by the end of their course.

        * 625-671 Research Project - 12.5 points
        * 625-672 Research Project - 25.0 points
        * 625-673 Research Project - 37.5 points
        * 625-675 Research Project - 50.0 points

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points
    625-675  Research Project
    The School of Earth Sciences is home to a large and diverse range of research programs. Our interests include the solid Earth, the fluid Earth (including our atmosphere and oceans) and processes that operate at the interface between these upon which...     Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer     50

    625-660  Atmosphere Ocean Interaction and Climate
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-624  The Geology of Ore Deposits
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-626  Surface Processes and Geodynamics
    Geological processes operating at or near the Earth’s surface influence the physical landscape and soils upon which we rely. This subject comprises two short course intensive modules which include topics such as coastal environmental geo...     Semester 1     12.50

    625-627  Structural Geology and Geodynamics
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-654  Hydrogeology and the Environment
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-653  Geoscience in the Field
    This subject comprises two short course intensive modules that enable students to develop geological skills through fieldwork. Topics include geological mapping and core logging; field analysis of acid drainage chemistry, piezometer measurement and ...     Semester 1     12.50

    625-652  Geophysics
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-651  Geochemistry and Geochronology
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-659  Deposit Models & Mineral Exploration
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-657  Current Topics in Geology A
    No description available     Semester 1     12.50

    625-658  Current Topics in Geology B
    This flexible subject enables students to enrich their academic program through the selection of modules of their choice that may not fit neatly into another subject category. It will also be possible to take advantage of modules offered by internat...     Semester 2     12.50

    625-622  Digital Geoscience
    This subject comprises two short course intensive modules aimed at developing further knowledge on how digital information is used to explore problems in geology and introduces students to modern software tools used in the geosciences. Topics may in...     Semester 1     12.50

    625-661  Climate Analysis and Modelling
    The course introduces students to the philosophy and techniques of the quantitative analysis of weather and climate data, and modelling the large-scale atmospheric system. Among the topics to be covered are the maintenance of the general circulation...     Semester 1     12.50

    625-671  Research Project
    The School of Earth Sciences is home to a large and diverse range of research programs. Our interests include the solid Earth, the fluid Earth (including our atmosphere and oceans) and processes that operate at the interface between these upon which ...     Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer     12.50

    625-672  Research Project
    The School of Earth Sciences is home to a large and diverse range of research programs. Our interests include the solid Earth, the fluid Earth (including our atmosphere and oceans) and processes that operate at the interface between these upon which ...     Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer     25

    625-673  Research Project
    The School of Earth Sciences is home to a large and diverse range of research programs. Our interests include the solid Earth, the fluid Earth (including our atmosphere and oceans) and processes that operate at the interface between these upon which ...     Semester 1, Semester 2, Summer     37.50

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