EAE4011 - Earth science research project B - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate, Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Sandy Cruden


Professor Alexander Cruden

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Enrolment in the Master of Science

Satisfactory completion of EAE4010


Students undertake a project, involving original research in one of the School's research themes, which encompass a diverse range of modern Earth Science topics, including: geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, spatial data science, soil science, petrology, palaeontology, geodynamics, structural geology, tectonics, biogeography, physical geography, climate science, paleoclimate, hydrogeology, hydrology, ore deposits geology. A full list of projects will be made available to students prior to commencing their MSc program.

The research project may be experimental, computational, theoretical or field based in nature, or it may involve a combination of these research paradigms. Each student will be assigned an academic supervisor (or supervisors), who will oversee the research project and provide mentoring. Students will be required to undertake a comprehensive literature review and report their preliminary results via a seminar. The major outcomes of the project will be communicated in the form of a thesis. Students will also be required to defend their research outcomes via an oral examination. For most students their project will be continued into the second year of the MSc program; hence EAE4000 will lay the foundations for a substantial ongoing research project in the second year of the degree.

As part of their research training, students will be affiliated with one of the School's research groups (aligned with their research project) and will be required to attend weekly group meetings, seminars and colloquia. Opportunities will also be provided to students to receive training in specialist areas associated with their research project, e.g., analytical methods, technical computing, visualisation of data, specific experimental techniques, field techniques, etc.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand, use and explain the basic concepts and principles of the research literature which underpin the chosen area of research in Earth Science.
  2. Synthesise and interpret the knowledge gained in the study of the underpinning research literature. This leads to the ability to identify a niche topic or topics within this existing body of literature, which represents a gap in current knowledge. This problem should be suitable for original research.
  3. Advance our understanding of an existing problem or problems in the chosen area for original research.
  4. Present the results of the original research in written form as a thesis, and also present key thesis results in oral form as a preliminary seminar.
  5. Defend the results of the original research in an oral exam.


This unit is the second half of a two-semester research project.

Literature review: 20%

Oral presentation: 10%

Thesis: 70%

Workload requirements

24 hours per week

  • Attendance at weekly group meetings (half hour per week)
  • Attendance at seminars and colloquia (half hour per week)
  • At least half hour per week of consultation with the supervisor
  • Specialist training (approximately half hour per week)
  • Preparation of literature review (approximately 1 hour per week averaged over the semester)
  • Preparation for the seminar (approximately half hour per week averaged over the semester)
  • Preparation of Progress report (approximately 1.5 hours per week averaged over the semester)
  • 19 hours of independent research per week

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Master of Science in Earth Science