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Schools in Science


If you love Science and have studied any of Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Environmental Science, Biology or Outdoor and Environmental Studies in VCE then you are a perfect candidate to join the School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment.

Studies in Earth, Atmosphere and Environment  encompass  the whole Earth system, from the core of the Earth to our planet's atmosphere.

To view our latest EAE brochure click here.

What you'll study

In 2017 the majors offered are Earth Science (consisting of 3 streams), Atmospheric Science, and extended majors in Earth Science and Geographical Science. There are also many electives to choose from. Environmental and climate units offered by EAE also form part of the Environmental Science extended major managed by the School of Biological Sciences. For further details about the units you will study, as well as the electives available, check the Monash handbook .

Majors First Year Units Brief Description

Earth Science


The Earth’s Physical Environment

The Earth’s Climate


Earth, atmosphere and environment 1

Earth Atmosphere and Environment 2
Climate change: From science to society

Earth Sciences is a broad discipline that addresses the major processes that have shaped our planet over deep geological time and continue to pose natural hazards to society, but also provide elements that we need to sustain a modern society.

You will learn about geological processes (plate tectonics, basin formation, volcanology, earthquakes, and the formation of ore deposits); the Earth’s physical environment (such as rivers, groundwater, soils, and landscapes) and the interaction of physical systems with the biosphere; and/or the Earth’s climate and how we understand and predict natural and anthropogenic climate change.

Major and minor unit requirements

Atmospheric Science

Earth, atmosphere and environment 1

Earth Atmosphere and Environment 2
Climate change: From science to society
Atmospheric Science is an interdisciplinary science that draws on the strengths of Environmental Science, Applied Mathematics and Physical Geography. It also applies concepts derived from Physics and Chemistry. Atmospheric Science explains how the weather and climate system works, from a gust of wind to global-scale climate change. Weather and climate are both critical to understanding the natural environment and how it is changing with human influence.

Major and minor unit requirements

Geographical Science

Extreme Earth! Natural hazards and human vulnerability

The Global Challenge

Earth Atmosphere and Environment 2
Climate change: From science to society

Geographical Science is the interdisciplinary study of understanding how natural and human processes affect our planet including soils, vegetation, water, landforms and climate throughout time.

You will learn to analyse and synthesise complex environmental, economic, social and political information to enable a geographical understanding of humans, environments and the planet.

Major and minor units requirements

What you’ll study in first year

EAE1011: Earth, atmosphere and environment 1

Provides an introduction to the science involved in studying the Earth, including explanations of how and why our planet has changed since its formation 4.56 billion years ago. We will study the formation, history and anatomy of the Earth and the processes that drive change within our planet and its  environmental  systems, from the formation of the core to its crust, to the systems driving and sustaining the planet’s living surface to the forces and processes involved in the formation of mountains and oceans, and our changing atmosphere and climate.

EAE1022: Earth Atmosphere and Environment 2

This unit will expand your knowledge of the environmental, geological and atmospheric processes that create the unique physical environment in which we live, and will demonstrate how these processes influence our lives from the provision of resources to natural disasters. You will examine how and why  the Earth’s surface, atmosphere and vegetation have changed in the past, and are predicted to change in the future, as a result of human influences such as deforestation, agricultural practices and human-induced climate change.

ATS1310: Extreme Earth! Natural hazards and human vulnerability

This unit will focus on the catastrophes of our world today, such as droughts, earthquakes, epidemics, fires, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis and weather extremes. It seeks to understand the mechanics and dynamics of these environmental phenomena and how they interact with the social contexts  in  which these disasters occur. We will also investigate the role of international aid and risk management using local and international case studies.

ATS1309: The Global Challenge

What can you do in a world that is challenged by questions of poverty, environmental degradation, social inequality and economic exclusion? Insight is gained into the new and emerging forces of social, economic and environmental change. The unit examines how changing population and migration dynamics,  urban development, patterns of consumption and growth, and labour markets intersect at local, national and global scales.

SCI1300: Climate change: From science to society (Elective Unit)

This unit provides the scientific background to climate change, and it assesses the environmental and societal impacts, and community and political responses to climate change. Starting from the basic principles and processes that define and govern the Earth's climate, the unit explores how the different spheres  on Earth interact to produce the rich past and current variability of climate in space and time and how human influences are shaping the future of the Earth's climate. The unit investigates what options humankind has to respond to the economic, ethical and political challenges of climate change, including global and national governance models required to mitigate and adapt to its effects. The unit will provide students with the foundation and knowledge to respond to climate change challenges throughout their career, independent of their specific discipline.

Apply your passion for all sciences

Chemistry of the Earth


The first chemists were geochemists. Studying geochemistry will give you an understanding of the building blocks of our planet, from minerals to mountains and from our ever changing environment to the beginning of our solar system.

Geochemistry is an important part of modern Earth Sciences with ample applications in industry and scientific  research. At EAE, we study the chemistry of rocks, sediments, soils and waters so we can expand our understanding of our environment, how and when rocks or ores form, and processes to  make use of geomaterials. We use geochemical fingerprinting in fluids, crystals or massive crustal blocks, ranging from the nano-scale to continental-wide studies.

Physics of the Atmosphere

Ever wondered why we can make accurate weather forecasts? Do you want to weather futureknow how a tornado works? What does the science really say about human-induced climate change?

The answers lie in physics, and every day you are witnessing it in action in our atmosphere! Whether it is the torrential rain from a thunderstorm, or an unrelenting summer heatwave, all are the result of physical processes occurring in the air around us. By studying atmospheric science in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, you will be able to understand how the atmosphere works to make our weather and climate. You will learn the skills to do anything from weather forecasting to untangling the intricacies of climate science for decision making in an era of human-induced climate change.

Physics of the Earth

eae future students 01

Did you know that the Earth behaves as one big magnet?

Have you ever considered that the Earth's resources are a consequence of the interaction between the deep mantle interior of the Earth and the movement of thin plates that form the skin of the Earth?  These same plate movements are responsible for many of the natural disasters that affect  modern society.

The planet we live on is controlled by the Earth's physical properties, yet, we have only tapped the surface.  By studying the Physics of the Earth in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, you will be able to understand the world you live on and what lies below our feet. You can use your curiosity to become part of one of the great scientific challenges - how we manage our magnificent planet and its natural resources for future generations.

Geography and Environment

geography image

Physical, chemical and biological processes have worked together to make the surface of our planet what it is today. But how do these landscapes form and how and why do they change? You can find out by studying Geographical Science.

You’ll learn about the processes that form characteristic climates, move water and influence water quality, impact soil fertility which affects how we grow food, restore forests after a fire and use advanced spatial mapping tools to identify these changes.

You’ll also discover how we can use this knowledge to understand human interactions with the land, water and atmosphere and how we can best manage Earth’s precious resources.

Biology of the Earth

eae future students 02

Combine your love of Biology with Earth Science to understand how life and planets develop together. The biology of the Earth embraces the investigation of all life (animals, plants, microorganisms) and its dynamic ecosystems, from our first record of fossils ~3.7 billion years ago to the present.

By studying the Biology of the Earth, you’ll examine how and why ecosystems move and change. You will search for signs of early life in the far reaches of the planet through fossil records, painting a vivid picture of ancient and unfamiliar worlds. You’ll also learn how plants and microorganisms can restore damaged and contaminated environments and how life in extreme environments on Earth informs our ongoing search for biology elsewhere in our Solar System.

Where your studies will take you

EAE will qualify you for many exciting careers as future leaders in applied or fundamental science, in industry or academia. Earth Scientists earn some of the highest graduate salaries, even higher than Medicine, Law and Economics (source:

Your Career Network

We have our eye on your future and we work collaboratively with industry so our students develop an early link with real-world problems. EAE has links with employers including the Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne Water, Snowy Hydro, HydroTasmania, DSDBI, ESSO, Rio Tinto, Mount Isa Mines, MMG, AusIMM, Navarre Minerals, Agnew Gold, ANSTO, MTEC, Shell International, Geoscience Australia, Victorian Department of Land, Water and Planning, Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and a number of Co-operative Research Centres.

Career Options