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Master of Geoscience


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Master of Geoscience (MGeosc)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent in geology, geophysics, physical geography, mineralogy, engineering geology, environmental science, or a related discipline
• GPA of 4.50 (out of 7.00)
English Language Proficiency:
IELTS of 6.5 overall with minimum 6.0 in each band, or equivalent
Study Mode:
Full-time, Part-time
Attendance Mode:
Internal, External
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 1 year - 1.5 years depending on RPL granted
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
External — Session 1 (February)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 1.5 years
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 48
Completion of other specific minimum requirements as set out below

In order to graduate students must ensure that they have satisfied all of the general requirements of the award.

Specific minimum requirements:

Credit points

800 level

Earth Science Project (4)
Advanced Field Techniques in Geoscience (4)
Research Project (16)
16cp from
GEOS units at 800 or 900 level
8cp from
Units at 800 level or above


Program Learning Outcomes and Additional Information
AQF Level Level 9 Masters by Coursework Degree
CRICOS Code 083788E
Overview and Aims of the Program The Master of Geoscience provides an advanced degree that prepares students to work in private industry and government agencies. The graduate program also gives professional geoscientists an opportunity to build upon and improve their professional/job skills. The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Macquarie University ( has an international reputation for its multidisciplinary research and study programs, with expertise in geology, geochemistry, geophysics and geodynamics. These fields are critical to understanding many environmental and industry-related problems. Unique to this degree is its multidisciplinary and “big-picture” problem-solving approach, necessary to tackle 21st century problems. Our teaching is also supported by the world-class ARC research centre Core to Crust Fluid Systems and various other high profile research groups. Although there are no formal specialisations within the masters program, students must complete 16 credit points of the degree by a research project supervised by one of the academic staff in the Department (please refer to who has an area of expertise appropriate to your research interests. All students will be assigned an academic advisor within the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who will assist the student, before beginning the masters, in planning a course of study appropriate to his/her area of interest.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. create detailed maps and logs where rocks are reasonably well exposed, understand how aerial photos can be used to help create accurate maps, and determine the geological history and changing palaeoenvironments of an area
2. identify key systems and their interplay within the Earth
3. construct a critical evaluation of current scientific knowledge in geosciences
4. understand how to collect, prepare, describe and interpret geoscientific data and information
5. comprehend and articulate the essential links between Earth Sciences and other science disciplines in order to deepen your comprehension of Geosciences
6. identify and suggest explanations for geoscientific problems related to environmental and industry-related activities
7. understand and apply recent techniques and conceptual developments in the selected area of professional practice
8. understand and apply research principles and methods applicable to the selected area of practice.

9. collect and analyse quantitative geoscientific data (e.g. geochemical, geophysical, geological, environmental, etc) to solve a range of geological problems.
10. infer depositional environments from field observations, and effectively use several field instruments.
11. formulate hypotheses and use appropriate techniques to test and evaluate these through experimentation and observation.
12. research and extract relevant geoscientific information in order to describe and communicate a coherent understanding of earth system processes.
13. co-ordinate and integrate multiple strands of knowledge in order to solve geoscientific problems through a combination of any or all of literature research, field and laboratory studies and theoretical techniques.
14. summarise and effectively communicate scientific understanding. this will include presentation of information, articulating and evaluating arguments and justifying conclusions via a range of mechanisms (oral, written and visual) to a diversity of audiences for a variety of purposes.
Learning and Teaching Methods Students will be encouraged throughout this program to acquire the relevant subject skills, methods, knowledge and understanding through a variety of independent and collaborative activities. In the Earth Science Project and other project units, the student will undertake guided reading and analysis of a geoscientific problem, and gain expertise in written communication of a review on the chosen topic. In the fieldwork unit, the student will acquire advanced skills in sedimentary facies and log analyses, and data analyses, in a condensed form by tutoring in the field. This unit will also build generic teamwork and fieldwork skills. In the compulsory research project, the student will undertake guided practical research, typically in the laboratory and/or during fieldwork. The research topic will be closely supervised by an academic staff member who will guide the student towards completion of a major masters thesis. Towards the end of the program, students will gain skills in communicating their results at an advanced professional level, as well as being able to understand the works of others and communicate those results to their colleagues. The program is structured to promote and steadily encourage independent learning.
Assessment The assessment methods are mostly based on the submission of individual coursework, although some in-class tests will also be carried out. The assessment methods will range from undertaking numerical and descriptive assignments to oral presentations, the production of scientific reports and to the preparation of a master thesis. The program incorporates formative and summative feedback. Formative feedback is that which is received whilst students are working on a task. Typically this may take the form of editing and marking of early drafts of a report of thesis. Summative feedback is that received once students have completed a task. Both forms of feedback are extremely important and provide students with information and guidance on their development and progress. Feedback may mainly be provided in written form, but complemented by ongoing oral discussion with teachers.

Towards the end of the program there is one substantial masters thesis (16cp unit) that will require students to bring together a combination of most likely fieldwork, research and analytical skills, and write up the resultant research outcomes in a coherent and logical format that may often be publishable in the scientific literature.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability The Master of Geoscience provides an advanced degree that prepares students to work in private industry and government agencies. The graduate program also gives professional geoscientists an opportunity to build upon and improve their professional/job skills.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Accreditation This is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) accredited qualification.

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148