Welcome from the Head of School

Welcome to the School of Geosciences, a dynamic and varied group of disciplines made up of Geology, Geography and Geophysics.

Our research and teaching on environment, sustainability, cities, coastal studies, climate change and similar themes means we are addressing national priorities and issues of importance to people in Sydney, throughout Australia and around the world. As a student in the School of Geosciences you will learn how to analyse problems, work out solutions, and communicate these clearly to others. Your studies will reward you with valuable skills to launch a professional career often involving international travel, out-of-doors work in exotic locations, and the ability to contribute to better environmental futures.


The School takes great pride in the fact that it is a pleasant and friendly place to learn. We offer highly relevant undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs, plus higher degree research studies, with lecturing staff and supervisors recognised both nationally and internationally as being leaders in their areas of expertise.

Once enrolled at the University of Sydney, undergraduate students can focus on subject majors in our discipline areas within various degree programs across the University, including Science, Arts, Liberal Studies, Economics and Social Sciences. The School also provides primary parts of the interdisciplinary programs at the University in Marine Science, Environmental Studies and Sustainability.

The Three GEOs...the disciplines in geoscience form a broad spectrum of knowledge about the Earth:

  • Geography is the study of Earth as the home of people. It addresses human - environmental relations, the resulting spatial organisation of human activity, as well as interactions with the physical environment, its resources and their geological determinants.
  • Geology & Geophysics investigates these determinants, from the Earth’s origins and earliest evolution, through its four and a half billion-year history, to the dynamics of how it is currently evolving.
  • Marine Science and Coastal Studies investigates the largest domain on the planet-the oceans, seabed and surrounding coast and beaches, including their physical, biological and dynamic attributes.
  • Environmental Studies spans disciplines covered by several Schools at the University of Sydney, and addresses how various sciences and the environment are related, and how science can be employed to effectively manage and solve our wide range of environmental issues. Study in these disciplines can be combined with many other branches of science, engineering, economics, social sciences and humanities.

Please explore our website to find information about our programs of study, the facilities we offer, and the requirements expected of you as a student. By virtue of its commitment to providing professional training and enjoyable courses, fieldwork constitutes an integral part of training in the Geosciences. There are opportunities for students to undertake exciting overseas fieldwork and inspiring fieldtrips within Australia.

Your future prospects will be enhanced because your training will be linked closely to the exciting, cutting-edge research of lecturing staff. The teaching staff, technical staff and postgraduate students are all there to help you and to share their enthusiasm. Don’t hesitate to talk to them and to make your interests known. In addition to the lecturers and teaching assistants for specific courses, there is an academic coordinator for each year of the undergraduate program (see under Units of Study).

Welcome to the School of Geosciences – where students and world-class academics are passionate about Geology, Geography and Geophysics, about sharing their knowledge and contributing to making the world a better place.

Professor Phil McManus
Head of School of Geoscience


Where our students come from