Graduate School - General Coursework requirement


Please refer to the Graduate School homepage for general coursework requirement and details. 


Departmental Coursework Requirement

Requirement - 2 compulsory courses and 2 elective courses from the list below. 
(For students enrolled before September 2008 - 2 compulsory courses and 1 elective course) 


Course code Course Title Compulsory (C) / Elective (E)
SSAF6001 Basic Laboratory Safety Course for RPg Candidate in the Faculty of Science C
EASC6001 Research Seminars and Presentation of Thesis Proposal C
EASC6005 Advanced Regional Geology E
EASC6006 Special Topics in Earth and Planetary Sciences E
EASC6007 Mass Extinctions E
EASC6009 Evolving Earth Systems E
EASC6010 Nanogeoscience E


Course Description

EASC 6001 Research seminars and presentation of thesis proposal (COMPULSORY)


This course enables students to present their research proposals and receive a broad and timely suggestions and critiques. Students are required to present their thesis proposals, and should attend the weekly seminar series held in the department. Students are required to enroll for this course of their first year of their degree programs and orally present the thesis proposal (20-30 minute talk) before submitting their biannual progress reports.


Assessment: 50% based on attendance to the weekly seminars and 50% on presentation; to be assessed by departmental staff members; pass/fail
Contact Person: Dr Neil Ryan McKenzie


EASC 6005 Advanced Regional Geology


This course aims to provide an overview of the regional geology, including current major problem in regional geology (e.g., climate-erosion-tectonics interactions) and how multi-disciplinary approaches are used to solve regional geological questions (e.g., integration of thermochronology and tectonic reconstruction). Additional emphasis is placed on east Asian tectonics, as this our home region and a focal site of much regional geological discovery over the past ~ 40 years. A major project, each of which can be tailored to correspond with the research interests of the postgraduate student, will be the dominant graded element.


Assessment: 100% continuous assessment; pass/fail
Contact Person: Dr Alex Webb


EASC 6006 Special topics in earth and planetary sciences


This course aims to provide in depth knowledge of selected special topics in earth and planetary sciences, including engineering and environmental geology, hydrogeology, engineering geophysics, quaternary geology, astrobiology and planetary sciences. Directed studies in a focused field of research recommended by the research group/supervisor, and writing of review reports and critiques.


Assessment: 100% continuous assessment; pass/fail
Contact Person: Supervisor


EASC6007 Mass Extinctions


This course aims to review five mass extinction events in earth history. The instructor will first explain the concepts of background extinction rate and major extinction events. Later students will learn the causes and effects for five mass extinction events. Additionally we will discuss if the 6th extinction event is coming.

Course Contents & Topics: Five mass extinction events in earth history; Potential causes for mass extinction events; Impacts and recovery patterns of mass extinction events and Major treats to modern biodiversity


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to: Comprehend in some depth the nature of the issues confronting humankind as part of the Earth System; Understand the basis of interrelationships through feedback loops within the Earth System; Synthesize scientific data available from a variety of sources and apply the data to problem solving, particularly in areas of contemporary concern; and Understand how past and present activities on the planet will affect its future Assessment:


100% continuous assessment; pass/fail
Contact Person: Dr Su-Chin Chang


EASC6009 Evolving Earth Systems


Evaluate various integrative Earth systems in space and time. Course Contents & Topics: Biogeochemical and tectonic processes that influence Earth’s surface environment. Each semester topics may cover: “Origin of the Continental Crust”, “The Carbon Cycle”, “Oxygenation of the Atmosphere”, “Mountains and Climate”, amongst others. 


Upon successful completion of this course, students should: Generate an understanding of “systems science” as pertaining to topics in Earth and Planetary Sciences; Understand topics covered such that they can actively participate in critical research-related discussions, as well as provide coherent presentations explaining the fundamentals of specified topics; and Understand topics to the level that they can formulate new scientific questions relevant to their personal research, from which they can generate new ideas for future scientific proposals of their own.


Assessment: 100% continuous assessment; pass/fail
Contact Person: Dr Ryan McKenzie 


EASC6010 Nanogeoscience


This course provides an overview of nanomaterial properties and nano-scale processes that take place in solids, fluids/droplets, vapors and across reacting interfaces with an emphasis on the Earth and environmental sciences.


Course Contents & Topics: Introduction to nanoscience/nanotechnology ideas and concepts; occurrence and fate of nanomaterials on Earth and elsewhere, role of nanomaterials during Earth’s early history and life’s origins; introduction to phase diagrams of nanostructured solids, size and shape-dependent melting, crystallization of metals, alloys, minerals and ice-like materials, construction of phase maps of clusters and nano-materials from ab initio thermodynamics at elevated PT; effect of size on electronic structure and thermodynamic properties; Techniques: nanocalorimetry, AFM, nano-atom probes, mass spectrometry and other size-sensitive spectroscopies; Applications: chemical weathering of nanomaterials, virus/bacteria-mineral surface interactions, atmospheric nanoparticles, climate/health implications; Trends in nanoscience and their impact on modern Earth Sciences.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to: Understand basic concepts of nanoscience, nanotechnology and Earth materials; Understand how shape and size influence electronic structure and properties of nanomaterials; and Apply concepts of nanoscience to Earth and environmental science systems.


Assessment: 100% continuous assessment; pass/fail

Contact Person: Dr Kono Lemke