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Python for Earth Sciences (ERTH90051)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 6.25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeERTH90051
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This course will provide an introduction to simple procedural programming in python with applications to Earth Data Sciences. We will teach you how to manipulate and transform data in simple ways, plotting, mapping, visualisation, interpolation, gridding, function fitting, and exporting data / images into common, interchangeable data formats.

We will learn how to orchestrate common earth science python software applications including plate reconstruction (pygplates), seismic data set acquisition and analysis (obspy), meshing and interpolation (stripy).

We will learn how to use the many publicly available extensions and modules to python, particularly those which allow efficient computation and scientific analysis, for example numpy and scipy.

We will learn how to solve very simple differential equations with application to geothermal energy and ground water flow, statistical analysis of data sets, online data repository

Intended learning outcomes

  • This subject aims to equip students with discipline-specific knowledge and expertise appropriate for post-graduate research in the field;
  • Equip students with discipline-specific knowledge and expertise enabling them to take their place as professional geologists in industry or government organisations;
  • an ability to identify the kind of digital information and software most appropriate to solving geological problems;
  • confidence and competence to interrogate geological problems employing modern digital techniques including a modern programming language.

Generic skills

  • Exercise critical judgement;
  • undertake rigorous and independent thinking;
  • adopt a problem-solving approach to new and unfamiliar tasks

Eligibility and requirements


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
COMP90059 Introduction to Python Programming
Summer Term



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Familiarity with python language, and a background in earth or atmospheric sciences.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Programming practicals, including code, analysis and annotation (totalling 1000 words; individual write-ups) due during the teaching period (45%)
  • Programming assignments, including code, analysis and annotation (totalling 1500 words) due one week after the end of the teaching period (55%)

Dates & times

  • April
    CoordinatorLouis Moresi
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours40 hours - 5 x 4 hour seminars, 5 x 4 hour workshops
    Total time commitment80 hours
    Pre teaching start date 9 April 2018
    Pre teaching requirementsPlease refer to the VIEPS website for details of the pre-readings for this subject: https://vieps.earthsci.unimelb.edu.au/course/info.php?id=19
    Teaching period16 April 2018 to 20 April 2018
    Last self-enrol date21 April 2018
    Census date16 April 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail21 April 2018
    Assessment period ends27 April 2018

    April contact information

Time commitment details

80 hours

Additional delivery details

This subject is taught through the Victorian Institute of Earth and Planetary Sciences: https://vieps.earthsci.unimelb.edu.au/.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

Last updated: 29 March 2019