School of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Our teaching and research is highly rated in global rankings (5th in Australia and 50th in the world for Earth and Marine Science – QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021, 2nd in Australia and 39th in the world for Earth Sciences – 2020 ARWU Subject Ranking).

In the Australian Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2018 assessment, Curtin was ranked well above world standard in geology and geochemistry, above world standard in oceanography and in physical geology and environmental geoscience, and at world standard in geomatic engineering and geophysics.

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School discipline areas

Geology discipline area


Geology is the study of the solid Earth and the processes that shape our planet. Our teaching programs supply a high proportion of geology graduates working in the minerals, petroleum, groundwater and environmental industries in Western Australia and further afield, and our research strengths include crustal evolution, geodynamics, and isotope geochemistry.

We are home to The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR), the Earth Dynamics Research Group and the Timescales of Mineral Systems Group.

Learn more about Geology

Spatial sciences discipline area

Spatial Sciences

Our discipline encompasses a range of activities concerned with location on the Earth’s surface.  We deliver undergraduate teaching programs in surveying, and postgraduate training in geospatial intelligence. Our research strengths include geodesy, global navigation and satellite systems, photogrammetry, laser scanning, remote sensing, and geographic information science.

We are home to the Western Australian Geodesy Group.

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Remote Sensing

Basins, Oceans and Biogeosciences

We use seismic, molecular and isotopic data to study sedimentary basins and their resources; acoustic tools to listen to activity in the oceans and to map habitats, biomass and the seafloor; optical tools and satellite remote sensing to study ocean and land environments; and sophisticated analytical techniques to study the evolution of life forms and their biochemical interactions.

We are home to the Centre for Marine Science and Technology, the Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group and Western Australian Organic & Isotope Geochemistry Centre.


Planetary Science

Planetary Science

We are the largest planetary research group in the southern hemisphere, participating in space missions and analysing meteorites and materials from the Moon and Mars to study our solar system and the geological and impact history of its planets and moons. We build tracking systems for fireballs and satellites, and have commenced a small satellite development program.

We are home to the Space Science and Technology Centre.