GEOLOGY 4030A - Advanced Geophysics (Hons) Pt 1

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course forms part of the honours program in Geophysics. It consists of research, writing and presentation tasks towards your major research project, short courses, geophysics short course and a major field camp to New Zealand. This course equips honours students with a wide range of skills for graduate employment programs or further postgraduate research.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOLOGY 4030A
    Course Advanced Geophysics (Hons) Pt 1
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Contact Mixed Mode - flexible and/or intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Corequisites GEOLOGY 4040A/B
    Incompatible GEOLOGY 4000A/B, GEOLOGY 4010A/B, GEOLOGY 4020A/B
    Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours program
    Assessment Seminars, New Zealand fieldtrip, short courses and thesis support tasks
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Juraj Farkas

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A successful student in this course should be able to:

    1 Develop and manage a Geophysics research project from hypothesis building to result interpretation;
    2 Develop their own fieldwork program;
    3 Conduct laboratory analyses using state-of-the-art instrumentation;
    4 Undertake computer analyses and modelling with industry-standard software;
    5 Communicate with industry and government scientists;
    6 Attend and present results at conferences, workshops and meetings, and;
    7 Write a scientific publication that can be developed into a refereed publication.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The Geophysics Honours course consists of:
    • 12 day field trip to New Zealand
    • Short courses, which may include a field trip
    • Geophysics shortcourses
    • Scientific seminars
    • Research seminar
    • Thesis support tasks (including weekly lectures and research tasks)

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in this course should expect to spend, on average, 20 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures, seminars, meetings and fieldtrips), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading, research and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    New Zealand Field Trip Presentation
    All honours students will have the opportunity to attend an excursion to New Zealand. The field trip will include aspects of Plate Tectonics, Neo-Tectonics, active volcanism and spectacular geothermal activity and fluvio-glacial and neotectonic geomorphology. The trip is held in February/March. Alternative assessment options may be available for students not able to
    go on the New Zealand field trip.

    Short course(s)
    Students will undertake one or more short courses in the broad area of earth sciences.

    Geophysics Shortcourses
    Each student enrolled in this course is expected to attend two shortcourses designed to cover detailed geophysical techniques, data analysis and interpretation.
    • Shortcourse I - Data Processing: This course will cover basic data processing techniques utilised in geophysics including convolution, deconvolution, aliasing, Fourier transforms, filtering, and statistical analysis of signals.
    • Shortcourse II - Numerical Methods:  Numerical Methods: This course will cover common numerical techniques utilised in geophysics including finite difference, finite element, integral equations, and inversion theory.

    Scientific seminars
    Each student is also expected to attend weekly TRaX and Sprigg seminars. 

    Research Seminars
    Each student will be expected to present the main results and findings of their thesis in a ‘research seminar’ attended by their examiners, supervisors and fellow students. Other academic and research staff and industry personnel will be invited to attend the seminars.

    Thesis Support Tasks (Oral Exam and Research Seminar)
    Each student is expected to attend the compulstory regular thesis support sessions whcih aim to outline the required parts of a thesis and guide students toward the best outputs.  Each thesis support session will focus on a different part of the thesis (e.g. hypothesis, methods, discussion) and provide a framework for this section, its construction and completion.  A peer review system is an important component of this.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    New Zealand Field Trip   Formative & Summative


    20% 2,5,6
    Oral Exam Formative & Summative June 15% 1,3,4,6,7
    Written summaries of scientific seminars Formative & Summative March-Oct 10% 1,5
    Short course(s) Formative & Summative Feb-June 20% 2,3,4
    Geophysics Short Course 1 & 2 Formative & Summative Feb- June 20% 2,3,4
    Research Seminar Summative November 15% 1,5,6,7
    Assessment Detail
    New Zealand Field Trip Presentation 20%
    Prior to the trip a research topic will be given that will cover some of the geology seen in New Zealand.  Students will present seminars before and during the trip itself. Three in-field tasks and field notebooks will be assessed during the trip. A final oral exam will held on return from the field.

    Short course(s) (27%)
    Each short course is assessed differently and may include a final exam, project, workshop or field assessment task/s.

    Geophyscis Shortcourses 1 & 2 (20%,)
    Each course is assessed by a take home exam, an oral exam and final presentation. 

    Written summaries of scientific seminars (10%)
    A written summary of the problem the presenter is addressing, the methods they have used and any conclusions that they make is to be completed for each seminar attended. Notes should be taken during the presentation. Students are expected to complete notes for at least 10 seminars.
    Thesis Support Tasks are as follows:
    1) Hypothesis and Aims
    2) Background and Literature Review
    3) Introduction
    4) Methods
    5) Presenting your results
    6) Results vs Discussion
    7) Presentation Skills

    Oral Exam (Support Tasks 1-3) (15%)
    Thesis Support Tasks 1-3 will be presented and examined at an oral exam held in June. The student will be asked to comment on a series of questions related to tasks 1-3. The student’s supervisor/s and examiners, and the honours coordinator will conduct the oral exam.

    Research Seminars (15%)
    Thesis support tasks 4-7 will be examined during the final research seminar.  Each seminar will be 15 minutes long with 5 minutes of questions. These seminars will be held in early November. It is compulsory that all students attend all seminars.

    All items for assessment must be submitted by the stated deadlines. There will be a penalty for late submission: the submitted work will be marked 'without prejudice' and 10% of the obtained mark will be deducted for each working day (or part of a day) that an assessment task is late, up to a maximum penalty of 50% of the mark attained.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    NOG (No Grade Associated)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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