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Graduate Diploma of Geoscience


Faculty of Science and Engineering
Graduate Diploma of Geoscience (GradDipGeoSc)
Admission Requirement:
• Australian level 7 bachelor's qualification or recognised equivalent with a major in geology or geophysics
• 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:
Candidature Length:
Full-time: 1 year
North Ryde — Session 1 (February)
North Ryde — Session 2 (July)
Volume of Learning:
Equivalent to 1 year
General requirements:
Minimum number of credit points 32
Minimum number of credit points at 800 level or above 32
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)
Geophysics Laboratory Project (4)
Problems in the Earth Sciences (4)
20cp from
Advanced Field Mapping (4)
Problems in Sedimentary Geology (4)
Geophysics Reading Project (4)
Volcanic Geology B (4)
Advanced Geochemical Applications and Techniques (4)
Palaeoenvironments and Biogeochemistry (4)
Microstructures to Large Scale Processes (4)
Geophysical Data Processing (4)


AQF Level Level 8 Graduate Diploma
Overview and Aims of the Program The Graduate Diploma of Geoscience provides an advanced degree that allows students to undertake further study so that they have a solid geoscience background to gain work in geoscience exploration fields. 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. All students will be assigned an academic advisor within the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who will assist the student, before beginning the diploma, 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. identify key systems and their interplay within the Earth [K]
2. construct a critical evaluation of current scientific knowledge in geosciences [T,I,J]
3. understand how to collect, prepare, describe and interpret geoscientific data and information [K]
4. identify and suggest explanations for geoscientific problems related to environmental and industry-related activities. [K,L,A]
5. collect and analyse quantitative geoscientific data (e.g. geochemical, geophysical, geological, environmental, etc) to solve a range of geological problems. [K,P]
6. formulate hypotheses and use appropriate techniques to test and evaluate these through experimentation and observation. [T,P,J]
7. 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. [K,T,P,I]
8. 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. [C,E]
The number of PLOs that a program should have is not specified. As a guide, between eight and twelve PLOs would be a reasonable number.
PLOs are made publicly available and so will be read by a wide audience. When writing PLOs it is useful to ask "is this written in a way which would be intelligible, accessible and meaningful to our students and prospective students?". Generally speaking, learning outcomes should be expressed in a form that includes action verbs, describing something your students can actually do, and can be assessed to have successfully done, like "identify", "describe" or "differentiate".
The AQF asks that PLOs should address the areas of Knowledge and Understanding, Skills and Capabilities, and the Application of Knowledge and Skills. It isn't necessary for each PLO to be classified under one of these headings. However it is important for the overall collection of PLOs for a program to clearly address all of these factors.
Each program learning outcome should be mapped to the graduate capabilities it fosters, using the standard letter codes given.
Learning and Teaching Methods The Graduate Diploma of Geoscience degree program provides students with high level theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory experience in geoscience. 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.

Some of the information is delivered by face-to-face lectures, while other material is developed from guided research and literature investigation. Students will undertake a range of activities, from structured practical classes; to discussion groups about seminal papers; to undertaking geochemical analysis or writing computer code to solve questions.

In the project units, the student will undertake guided reading and analysis of geoscientific problems, and gain expertise in the written communication of a review on a chosen topic. 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 scientific report. 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.
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 Graduate Diploma 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. Graduates will also develop research skills that might allow them to undertake higher degree research at a later stage.
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.

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2018 Unit Information

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