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Two marine science students on a boat conducting research at the Great Barrier Reef
Study area_

Environment and geosciences

Geography, Geology & Geophysics, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, and Marine Science
Make your mark on the world! The subject areas in geosciences will immerse you in the study of our world. Whether you become an expert in climate change, coastal erosion or sustainability, you will be working on the frontline of issues of global importance.

How to study Environmental sciences and Geosciences 

You can study subjects in the area of the Environmental sciences and Geosciences by choosing a program, major, minor or electives within one of our courses.

Undergraduate coursework

Our majors are: 

These can be done within the following undergraduate courses:

Postgraduate coursework

Postgraduate research

To find a potential supervisor visit the Geosciences Academic Staff page or the School of  Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Staff page.

What are the Environmental sciences and Geosciences?

Imagine turning your passion for global issues into a rewarding and satisfying career. Discover a selection of subjects where you will have opportunities to study the earth, its oceans, its land and people, and help solve global problems like climate change.

This will also include many aspects of how living things, including humans, interact with the earth and environment. Your studies will take you from the laboratory to a rainforest, the desert or even underwater.

Why study Environmental sciences and Geosciences with us?

  • We are ranked 21st in the world for geography.*
  • 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 taught to think critically about the relationships between people, environments and places.
  • 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 through time. 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.
  • Our practice of using research-led teaching will give you opportunities to get out of the classroom and into the field.
  • Gain valuable experience working on projects locally and internationally in places such as New Zealand, China, Great Barrier Reef, Australian desert, and South East Asia.
  • Geosciences will provide you with an understanding of the governance framework in which your professional career will operate, including the fundamental aspects of sustainability, environmental assessment, law, ethics, development, energy use, economics and politics.
  • We have partner facilities such as; Crommelin Biological Research Station on the NSW Central Coast, Tropical Ecology Research Facility in Kakadu National Park, One Tree Island Research Station on the Great Barrier Reef and the Marine Studies Institute
  • We are invested in the future work prospects of all of our students, and are ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability.^

*QS World Rankings by Subject 2021.
^QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

Environmental sciences and Geosciences jobs and careers

Our graduates can be found in many settings and roles, including:

  • Fisheries, parks and wildlife
  • Environmental and coastal protection
  • Marine and atmospheric research
  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services
  • Environment, urban planning and heritage agencies
  • Exploration for critical and base metals
  • Energy exploration
  • Natural hazards, such as erosion, earthquakes and volcanic activity
  • Earth monitoring from space

Student profile

Wenchao Cao - PhD candidate (Geosciences)

"I was strongly interested in research in the fields of plate tectonics, paleobiology and climate change. The EarthByte research group at the University of Sydney is a world-leading Earth modelling group, aimed at understanding the planet’s plate tectonic, deep and surface processes by synthesising big and complex geodata through space and time."

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