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Facts & figures

  • 125 Years of education and research in geosciences.
  • Best Ranked best in NSW and 17 in the world for the study of Geography.*
  • 5 out of 5 For research excellence in both geology and geophysics.
  • Leader Of ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Basin Geodynamics and Evolution of Sedimentary Systems
  • *QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2019
Faculties and schools_

School of Geosciences

Study the earth, its origins, the environment and people
A dynamic group of disciplines made up of geology, geography and geophysics. We tackle key issues facing society including climate change, resource management and sustainability.

Geosciences is the study of the Earth – its oceans, atmosphere, rivers and lakes, ice sheets and glaciers, soils, its complex surface, rocky interior and metallic core. This includes deciphering the history and possible future paths of Earth’s evolution and many aspects of how living things, including humans, interact with the Earth.

Geosciences also investigates the past, measures the present, and models the future behaviour of our planet. It also studies the other planets, asteroids, and the solar system, both to better understand the Earth and to expand our knowledge of the universe.

Teaching at the School of Geosciences

As a student in the School of Geosciences you will learn how to analyse problems and work out solutions. You will have opportunities for hands on experience outside of the classroom in the field and laboratory.

We are invested in the future work prospects of all of our students. We are ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability*.

The School of Geosciences is built upon Australia's oldest Department of Geology which was established in 1893, followed by the foundation of Australia’s first Department of Geography in 1920.

Because of its porousness, geosciences offers opportunities to make connections across boundaries and offers a lot of latitude in terms of research, which is how I have ended up working on such a wide range of topics.
Bradley Garrett - University of Sydney Research Fellow and Human Geographer

Study at Geosciences


The School of Geosciences is committed to supporting equity, diversity and inclusion and has set up a committee to oversee these principles.

We make all efforts to support staff with caring responsibilities and retaining staff who are planning a career transition such as parental leave. We have developed a Parental Leave Process to reinforce the School’s commitment to supporting and growing a talented and diverse workforce.

Read the committee’s Terms of Reference here or contact one of our Equity Officers Kevin Davies, Tristan Salles, Bree Morgan or Naama Blatman-Thomas. 

The University of Sydney has a number of high quality teaching and research facilities available to geosciences students.

  • Our Madsen Building is fitted out with laboratories and specialised equipment suitable for all disciplines within the geosciences. We have sorting and weighing facilities to assess items collected on field trips as well as high-tech computing systems and software to assist with analysis and reporting.
  • The University of Sydney Marine Studies Institute (MSI) is amongst the largest marine research and education centres in Australia. MSI is a partner in the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) whose headquarters are in Chowder Bay. Students are often taken on field trips to utilise the facilities and equipment here.
  • One Tree Island, located in the southerly part of the Great Barrier Reef is managed by the University of Sydney. Used for marine research, the 4 hectares of reef are often visited for field studies.

Geosciences Seminar Series Semester 1: Waves Ebbs and Flows

The human and physical world is in constant motion. Within the field of human geography, researches explore human and more-than-human mobilities across time and space and the effects of such flows on everyday experiences in the built environment. In the earth sciences, researchers try to understand earth system processes by examining movements at the Earth’s surface, in the vast oceanic domain and its molten deep interior. In this seminar series, we will bring together a broad group of experts to explore the theme of waves, ebbs and flows in the human and physical environments.

This seminar series is open to the public.

Location: Madsen Conference Room 449, Madsen Building F09
Time: 1-2pm

  1. Week 3 Tuesday March 12th
    Sara Moron, USYD | Small grains, big ancient rivers and the processes that shape them
  2. Week 5 Tuesday March 26th
    Francis Markham, ANU | Indigenous hypermobility: Quantitative evidence on the prevalence, characteristics and correlates of Indigenous residential mobility
  3. Semester break Tuesday April 23rd
    Killian Quigley, USYD | Waves and Places: The Locations of Seascape
  4. Week 10 Tuesday May 5th
    Meghan Miller, ANU | Structural evolution of convergent plate margins: what we can learn from seismic waves
  5. Week 12 Tuesday May 21st
    Tess Lea, USyd To be confirmed
  6. Mid Semester break Tuesday June 4th
    Daniel Harris, UQ Using waves to investigate the processes that drive change in coastal systems

The Thinking Space Seminar Series for Semester 1 will be held every Wednesday at the Madsen (F09) Conference Room 449.

This seminar series is open to the public.

  1. Wednesday February 27th (time change to 3-3.30pm) 
    Sandar Aye Phyo, Geosciences USYD | How is climate change intersecting with rural livelihoods and food security in the Central Dry Zone of Myanmar?
  2. Wednesday March 6th Professor
    Phil McManus, Geosciences USYD | Becoming Westconnex
  3. Wednesday March 13th
    Liberty Lawson, Sydney Environment Institute | TBC
  4. Wednesday March 20th
    Emeritus Professor Bruce Thom
    Geosciences, USYD | Public Policy and the Law; the influence of geography
  5. Wednesday March 27th 
    Hélène Le Deunff, USYD School of Philisophical and Historical Inquiry | Animal political space: the participation of wolves in the management of human and non-human predators 

    Lisa Trogisch,Wageningen University | Geographies of fear: gorilla tourism, securitisation and violence around the Virunga Conservation Area
  6. Wednesday April 3rd
    Alex Jones, Geosciences USYD | The significance of Jervis Bay for humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mother-calf groups during their southern migration 

    Kevin Davies, Geosciences USYD | Remote Sensing in the Cloud: Landcover Mapping of the Ba Catchment Fiji using Google Earth Engine and Sentinel-2.
  7. Wednesday April 10th
    Paula Camarero, Geosciences USYD | The Role of Sacred Sites in Forest Conservation
  8. Wednesday April 17th
    Dr. Bradley Garrett, Geosciences USYD | Building for Collapse: Doomsday Bunkers as Temporal Transport
  9. Wednesday May 1st
    Dr. Amanda Tattersall, Geosciences USYD | Exploring the Power of Cape Town’s Reclaim the City
  10. Wednesday May 8th
    Dr. Naama Blatman-Thomas, Geosciences USYD | Comparative Thoughts on Indigenous Housing in Cities
  11. Wednesday May 15th 
    Dr. Rebecca Lawrence, Stockholm University | TBC 

    Claire Parfit, USYD | TBC
  12. Wednesday May 22nd 
    Dr. Jo Gillespie, Geosciences USYD and Associate Professor Daniel Penny, Geosciences USYD | Smoke on the water: Wetlands and fire
  13. Wednesday May 29th 
    Sandar Aye Phyo, Professor Bill Pritchard, Geosciences USYD| A Chequerboard Frontier: How China is Remaking the Spatial Economy of Fresh Fruit Production in Mainland South East Asia

    Javed Azad, Geosciences USYD| What determines local differences in climate change vulnerability and adaptive capacity in Northern Bangladesh?

Head of School

Phil McManus
Professor Bill Pritchard
View academic profile

School of Geosciences

  • Room 348 Madsen Building F09, The University of Sydney

Madsen Building

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