Courses Handbook 2010

172299 v.6 Bachelor of Science (Geophysics)


Course CRICOS Code: 003876A
Registered full-time Duration for International Onshore Students on student visas: 3 Years


Geophysics is an area of increasing importance, particularly in Australia. Graduates who acquire experience in this field have many opportunities open to them both in Australia and overseas. Geophysicists have always been required in the search for minerals and energy sources by developed countries. This demand is increasing. In addition, there is a fast growing demand from developing nations, which has already created a shortage of professionals. The importance of geophysics relative to other exploration techniques will increase steadily as oil and mineral deposits are sought at greater depths below the Earth's surface.


Enquiries should be directed to the Department of Exploration Geophysics.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Applications for recognition of prior learning are assessed on an individual basis.

Duration and Availability

Three years' full-time or equivalent part-time study. Students at Miri campus can take first year at Miri, but will complete the second and third years of the course at the Bentley campus.

Course Organisation

The first year provides a foundation of knowledge in areas of physics and mathematics. Year one also introduces the students to geophysical processes, geology, electronic measurement, experiment or survey design, and scientific computing or data processing. Year two provides a solid foundation in geology and the physical and mathematical principles behind geophysical processes. A strong emphasis on the understanding of the physical properties of matter and the transmission and dissipation of energy is provided in the second year geophysics units. An introduction to various methods of analysing and imaging the Earth is also provided in the second year. The third year provides the students with detailed knowledge of the techniques of analysing and imaging the Earth. Geophysical methods such as seismic, magnetics, gravity, electrical and electromagnetic methods are introduced and significant field experience in the operation of industry-standard equipment and computer software is gained during this year.

Professional Recognition

The Commonwealth Public Service Board accepts the bachelor degree in Geophysics as satisfying its requirements for appointment as a professional geophysicist. A degree in geophysics satisfies the academic requirements for membership of The Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (USA) and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers.

Career Opportunities

Graduates generally find employment with oil and mineral exploration companies and geophysical contractors to those companies. Many companies operate internationally and personnel may be relocated on international transfer. Employment opportunities also exist in State and Federal government agencies.

Additional Course Expenses

Students may be expected to purchase a number of textbooks, readers and other essential study materials.

Further Information

Applicants without prerequisites will also be considered, but are required to complete additional and/or bridging units as part of the study program, which may extend the duration of the course by an additional year. For further information contact staffin the Department of Exploration Geophysics on (08) 9266 3565 or (08) 9266 3408, email: or or visit our website: See also Applied Geology/Geophysics(double degree).

Combined Degree Information

Double degree options with Geophysics are available.

Course Structure Disclaimer

Curtin University reserves the right to alter the internal composition of any course to ensure learning outcomes retain maximum relevance. Any changes to the internal composition of a course will protect the right of students to complete the course within the normal timeframe and will not result in additional cost to students through a requirement to undertake additional units.

Course Structure Hrs/Wk Credit
Year 1 Semester 1
12297 v.2   Geophysics 101 6.0 12.5
301995 v.5   Communication Skills 116 2.0 12.5
302804 v.3   Physics 101 4.5 25.0
7031 v.5 #   Geology 101 6.0 25.0
7062 v.6   Mathematics 101 5.0 25.0
10926 v.5   Mathematics 103 5.0 25.0
Year 1 Semester 2
307725 v.2   Geophysical Data Analysis 102 4.0 25.0
307726 v.2   Properties of Matter and Electricity 104 6.0 25.0
7032 v.5 #   Geology 102 6.0 25.0
7063 v.6   Mathematics 102 5.0 25.0
7492 v.5   Mathematics 104 5.0 25.0
Year 2 Semester 1
10198 v.3 #   Geology 241 - Structural Geology and Mineralogy 5.0 25.0
11914 v.4   Introduction to Geophysical Oil and Gas Exploration Methods 246 2.0 12.5
307727 v.2   Propagation of Energy 201 2.0 12.5
312247 v.1 #   Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 201 5.0 25.0
8127 v.6   Advanced Calculus 201 4.0 25.0
Year 2 Semester 2
10195 v.4 #   Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 242 7.0 25.0
302455 v.3   Introduction to Geophysical Mineral Exploration Methods 245 2.0 12.5
307728 v.2   Electromagnetic Fields in the Earth 202 2.0 12.5
8128 v.6   Linear Algebra 202 4.0 25.0
9776 v.9 #   Geological Field Mapping 292 3.0 25.0
Year 3 Semester 1
12454 v.5   Gravity and Magnetics for Exploration 301 5.0 25.0
12455 v.5   Introduction to Seismic Exploration 303 5.0 25.0
12456 v.5   Resistivity and Induced Polarisation Exploration Methods 305 5.0 25.0
9188 v.8   Geophysical Data Analysis 313 3.0 12.5
9227 v.6   Global Geophysics 310 2.0 12.5
Year 3 Semester 2
12458 v.5   Electromagnetics and Radiometrics for Exploration 302 5.0 25.0
302652 v.2   Seismic Acquisition for Exploration 315 2.0 12.5
302654 v.3   Environmental Geophysics 318 2.0 12.5
311770 v.2   Geophysical Data Processing 312 6.0 25.0
3380 v.9 *   Geophysics Project 302 2.5 25.0
#      Supervised field work is an essential part of the course. Expenses for this are payable by students and should not exceed $500 for the whole course
*      Geophysics 301, 303 and 305 in fifth semester, and Geophysics 302, 312 and 315 and Project Geophysics 302 in sixth semester will normally be taken concurrently


Year Location Period All* Internal Partially Online Internal^ External Fully Online#
2010 Bentley Campus Semester 1   Y      
2010 Miri Sarawak Campus Semester 1   Y      

The information displayed above refers to study periods and locations where the course is available for first time entry. Students are normally only offered or admitted to a course once.

*The course itself may not be available either solely internally or externally but individual units may be offered in either or both of those modes. Prospective students should contact the Course Coordinator for further information.

^Course and associated units are offered in this mode permitting International Onshore student enrolment.

#Course and associated units are offered in this online only mode and DO NOT permit International Onshore student enrolment.

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