Studying with us

The School of Geosciences offers Units of Study in the discipline areas of Geography and Geology and Geophysics. Students may take a major in either of these disciplines, and many of the Geoscience Units also form key components of the Environmental Studies and Marine Science majors. All students interested in the natural sciences are advised to enroll in the Junior Units GEOS 1001, GEOS 1002 and GEOS 1003 that provide a comprehensive introduction to both Geography and Geology and Geophysics. A major in Geography or Geology and Geophysics can be included within various degree programs across the University, including Science, Arts, Liberal Studies, Economics and Social Sciences.

Geography is the study of earth as the home of people. As the need to find solutions to issues of environmental sustainability, population change and globalisation have become more challenging, the skills and knowledge of geographers have come to the forefront. Students of Geography are interested in their world, and are taught to think critically about the relationships between people, environments and places. The knowledge and skills you gain from studying Geography at the University of Sydney provide a launch pad to a professional career in an array of fields including environmental management, planning, overseas development and consulting research. Our Geography program has strong linkages with various national and international organizations that provide pathways for further studies at Honours and postgraduate levels, and into the work force. It differs from High School Geography in that it provides more opportunities for independent learning, introduces new techniques and skills, offers flexibility for you to follow your interests and is tailored to real world events and issues.


USYD Southeast asia fieldschoolers on their way to the Ban Song Khon rice fields to try their hand at transplanting rice and learning about the dynamics of agrarian change in Thai-Lao borderlands from Lao labourers working in Thai rice lands

Geology and Geophysics provides a unifying context for understanding the workings of the earth system and the dynamic structural and ecosystem relationships between the continents and the oceans. Global climate change and shrinking resources have heightened our sense of dependence on Earth as a complex system. Geology and Geophysics provides students with an understanding of change on Earth, its origin, plate tectonics, surface processes, evolution of life and geologic time. Intermediate Units highlight the role of the earth system in all natural phenomena, including those of concern to humans such as geo-biodiversity, salinity, seismicity, volcanic hazards, climate and sea level change. Senior Units of Study cover methods of field data collection and provide access to cutting edge computing and data resources used for turning such observations into knowledge. Students will acquire the skills necessary for employment in all areas of sustainable exploration and management of our natural, mineral and energy resources.

As a Geosciences student at the University of Sydney, you will participate in an array of learning environments that complement traditional lecture and tutorial classes – for example, studies can include field trips to destinations in Australia and overseas. Students who wish to obtain advice concerning the School's Units of Study should approach the relevant Academic Coordinator during the enrolment week or the Unit Coordinators during semester.


Our students at the Yass Geological Field Excursion 2015

The School of Geosciences is committed to ensuring that all students have a positive experience studying with us. See the GeoGender Group for more information.

In order to complete a major in one of the Geosciences streams of study (Geography or Geology and Geophysics), students must complete 24 Credit Points (cp) of Senior Units of Study (UoS) in their selected stream. To gain entry to Senior UoS students must fulfil the prerequisites as stated in the Unit of Study descriptions. For example, a student wishing to major in Geography would complete 12 Junior credit points, 12 Intermediate credit points and 24 Senior credit points in Geography. A major in Geology and Geophysics is very similar in structure, but Units of Study with a Geology and Geophysics focus must be selected.
For more information on which units are available go:
Here for Geography
Here for Geology and Geophysics

The School also contributes to the streams of Marine Science and Environmental Studies. These two streams are complimentary to the streams of Geography and Geology and Geophysics and can be taken as part of a double major.
For more information on which units are available go:
Here for Marine Science
Here for Environmental Studies

Students of exceptional merit may be invited to take part in the Faculty of Science Talented Student Program, where you have the opportunity to undertake supervised research or enrol in more challenging units.


Congratulations Geoscience graduates!