Applied Geochemistry

The UNSW Applied Geochemistry (GEOS3281) course examines the behaviour of elements in the surface environment, with applications ranging from mineral exploration and regional mapping to environmental assessment. You’ll study the primary and secondary dispersion of elements and weather processes, as well as the key principles underlying sampling and analysis. You’ll also examine the subsequent visualisation and modelling of water, soil, sediment and vegetation geochemical data.

The course focuses on a series of combined lecture-laboratory case studies, including a number from Australia. It follows the typical stages in a geochemical survey that would be encountered in professional practice. This is supplemented by a day-trip to investigate geochemical processes at an abandoned mine site.

Conditions for Enrolment

Students should have completed at least one of the following courses:

Career Opportunities

Our Applied Geochemistry graduates have gone on to specialise in the following areas:

  • Mineral exploration and economic geology: applied Geochemistry is a major exploration tool for most mineral commodities. Employment is with both mineral exploration companies and government agencies.
  • Environmental science: applied Geochemistry is at the core of assessing the current state and fate contaminants. Employment is with environmental consultants and government agencies, but also in the minerals sector.
  • Geochemical analysis: applied Geochemistry is dependent on a range of analytical methods. Employment is in commercial and in-house laboratories.