School of Earth Sciences

Discovering Earth and beyond through time

UWA’s School of Earth Sciences is a group of internationally recognised educators and researchers who are excited by the diverse and complex ancient geological and modern environments of Earth and other planets in our solar system. Western Australia has a geological record of ancient processes and environments over the last 4.5 billion years including the record of early life evolution and major mineral, petroleum and groundwater resources. Our coastline is a natural laboratory to resolve important questions related to complex coastal systems including carbonate reefs, and the record of recent climate change in these systems.

Geoscience draws on the fundamental sciences to understand how our planet works, and is set apart by the time scales and spatial scales on which geological processes operate. Our activities cover a wide range of fields of study including geology, geophysics, geochemistry, geobiology, geochronology, computer modelling and data analytics.

We integrate data from these fields to solve geoscience problems as we seek to advance our fundamental understanding of Earth processes through time. Many interesting problems relate to the formation of important natural resources for society’s use and using our scientific understanding for predicting future change.

The School occupies one of the oldest iconic buildings on campus, but within its walls our geoscientists use the latest instruments and digital technology in their projects. We provide a vibrant environment for research and high-quality training for our students, and have a long history of successful industry and government geoscience collaboration.

Our research programs focus on providing practical experience, including field-based work and problem-solving skills at undergraduate, honours and postgraduate levels. Students also have access to sophisticated instruments, industry-standard software, as well as the opportunity to learn from, and network with, industry professionals.

Postgraduate Profiles

Our postgraduates carry out interesting and often vital research into all manner of subjects across all research areas. To promote their efforts, and to encourage others who are inspired to make their own mark on the world, we present the work of our current and past postgraduate students here.

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Our courses

Our strong and diverse research culture and dedication to learning supports students to develop their knowledge, technical and research skills in undergraduate majors and postgraduate courses for professional employment.


UWA’s School of Earth Sciences offers an undergraduate major in Geology and a specialisation in Marine Science. If you’ve enjoyed your undergraduate course and wish to pursue postgraduate study, consider applying for honours. The honours year provides an opportunity to undertake a research project. Research may be focused on resolving questions related to fundamental Earth processes, or have application to specific resources.

Our coursework master’s degrees include fundamental geoscience and application to key resource areas including minerals, petroleum and groundwater. Masters and students may undertake complete a research project in their second year and there are wide ranging opportunities for project topics in the School. 

Download our list of current honours and master's projects:
2023 Geoscience Research Projects [PDF 1.2MB]
2023 Geoscience Research Projects [DOC 402KB]


New scholarships are available for women enrolling in the Master of Geoscience, Master of Petroleum Geoscience, or Geology Honours in 2019. Applications open 21 December 2018 and close 1 March 2019 for Semester 1 2019 commencement:

The undergraduate Geology major and Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Geology are both accredited by the Australian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy.


  • New research reveals how the world's largest sand island was formed

    Tue, 15 Nov 2022

    A new study by an international team of scientists, including Associate Professor Talitha Santini from UWA, has given new insight into the origins of the world-heritage listed Fraser Island and the formation of Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef.

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  • Study finds ocean 'dead zones' getting bigger

    Tue, 8 Nov 2022

    Oxygen-deficient ‘dead zones’ in the Pacific Ocean are continuing to expand, according to a new study.

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  • New UWA program connects emerging PhD talent with global start-ups

    Tue, 25 Oct 2022

    Doctoral candidates from UWA are set to gain practical experience with a range of global start-ups as part of a new program co-founded by UWA PhD candidates Justin Geldard and Carly Portch from the Oceans Graduate School.

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Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum

This interactive museum allows visitors of all ages to discover and explore earth sciences. Several thousand visitors come to the Museum each year to learn about past environments, plants and animals, examine beautiful crystals, and enjoy rare experiences such as touching a meteorite, and handling some of Western Australia’s unusual minerals. The interactive sandbox is a great way to learn about Earth’s surface processes.

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Earth Science Museum

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