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Facts & figures

  • 125 Years of education and research in geosciences.
  • 3rd in Australia and 20th in the world for Geography (QS Rankings by Subject 2022)
  • 5 out of 5 For research excellence in both geology and geophysics.
  • Leader Of ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Basin Geodynamics and Evolution of Sedimentary Systems
Faculties and schools_

School of Geosciences

Study the earth, its origins, the environment and people
A dynamic group of disciplines made up of geology, geography and geophysics. We tackle key issues facing society including climate change, resource management and sustainability.

Geosciences is the study of the Earth – its oceans, atmosphere, rivers and lakes, ice sheets and glaciers, soils, its complex surface, rocky interior and metallic core. This includes deciphering the history and possible future paths of Earth’s evolution and many aspects of how living things, including humans, interact with the Earth.

We also investigate the past, measures the present, and models the future behaviour of our planet. It also studies the other planets, asteroids, and the solar system, both to better understand the Earth and to expand our knowledge of the universe.

Our teaching

As a student you will learn how to analyse problems and work out solutions. You will have opportunities for hands on experience outside of the classroom in the field and laboratory.

We are invested in the future work prospects of all of our students. We are ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability*.

The School of Geosciences is built upon Australia's oldest Department of Geology which was established in 1893, followed by the foundation of Australia’s first Department of Geography in 1920.

Top image photo credit: Dietmar Muller

Study at Geosciences

Our people


The University of Sydney has a number of high quality teaching and research facilities available to geosciences students.

  • Our Madsen Building is fitted out with laboratories and specialised equipment suitable for all disciplines within the geosciences. We have sorting and weighing facilities to assess items collected on field trips as well as high-tech computing systems and software to assist with analysis and reporting.
  • The University of Sydney Marine Studies Institute (MSI) is amongst the largest marine research and education centres in Australia. MSI is a partner in the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) whose headquarters are in Chowder Bay. Students are often taken on field trips to utilise the facilities and equipment here.
  • One Tree Island, located in the southerly part of the Great Barrier Reef is managed by the University of Sydney. Used for marine research, the 4 hectares of reef are often visited for field studies.

Thinking Space 25 May 2022: Agrarian transitions, livelihoods, and coffee value chains in Indonesia - Presented by Associate Professor Jeff Neilson (School of Geosciences)

Thinking Space 18 May 2022: A critical discourse analysis of local action plans in coastal Florida. - Presented by Srimayi Tenali (Master of Sustainability student, University of Sydney) and Phil McManus (School of Geosciences)

Thinking Space 27 April 2022: Caring for the Orang-utan beyond as a species to protect. - Presented by Dr June Rubis (School of Geosciences)

Thinking Space: 9 March 2022 - Water and land rights in the settler colony - Presented by Dallas Rogers (School of Architecture, Design and Planning)


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Head of School

Phil McManus
Professor Bill Pritchard
View academic profile


School of Geosciences

Madsen Building

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