Earth scientists study the nature and evolution of the structure of our planet, covering everything from natural crystals and fossils to the powerful forces that drive earthquakes and volcanoes and move continents across the globe. The discipline is increasingly moving from resource exploitation to issues revolving around sustainability. This means Earth scientists have important roles in a diverse range of environmental issues including pollution, remediation and creative solutions for climate change. Earth science at UNSW includes environmental geology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrogeology and groundwater contamination, mineral and petroleum exploration and resources, palaeontology, remote sensing and much more. Fieldwork in different regions of New South Wales is an essential part of Earth science.
We're ranked 40th in the world for Earth & marine science.* UNSW is home to the Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre (ESSRC) – a multidisciplinary research group that investigates the drivers and impacts of a changing Earth. The Centre partners with industry, governments and communities to help create a more sustainable future.
The field of Earth science provides the passport to a wide range of exciting and highly-paid careers, with opportunities to combine outdoor adventure and the use of sophisticated technology in places all around the world. A career as a professional geoscientist can provide numerous opportunities to travel, often to remote and unexplored locations. Alternatively, you may choose to work in a laboratory or use your skills in a strategic planning role. Career opportunities exist within government and private sectors in areas such as environmental impact assessment, mineral exploration, contaminated or post-extraction site remediation or groundwater studies. You could pursue a career as an exploration geologist, marine geologist, geophysicist, palaeontologist, hydrogeologist or as an environmental scientist.
If you're passionate about the environment, studying science is a great way to have a meaningful impact through almost all disciplines. In addition to Earth science, you might be interested in studying biology, climate science, ecology, environmental management, geography, marine & coastal science or physical oceanography.
Gain research experience and enhance your career prospects with an honours degree. These programs are designed to connect your undergraduate study with supervised independent research. An honours degree also provides a pathway into further study, such as a Masters by Research or PhD. You can take honours as a standalone degree or as part of an embedded honours program.
Embedded honours program
Standalone honours program
*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021