Palaeontology is the study of fossils, and of the evolution and extinction events that have helped shape the world around us.

As an undergraduate, you'll gain insight into this discipline through lectures, practicals and field trips on two of our courses: 

  • Palaeobiology explores the history of life on earth, the processes that can lead to the preservation of organic remains over geological time periods, and the application of the fossil record to contemporary problems such as climate change
  • Marine Geoscience and Palaeoceanography examines the evolution of ocean basins through the interplay between plate tectonics and climate controls, the production and distribution of marine sediments, global sea levels and patterns of ocean circulation. 

If you want to pursue a research career within this discipline, our palaeontologists investigate marine and terrestrial environments, and organisms from microbes and plants to giant vertebrates. We have specific interests in Australian megafaunal extinction, fossil corals and coral reefs, palaeoclimatology, palynology, radiolarian biostratigraphy and geomicrobiology.

Why choose Palaeontology at UQ?

Field trips are integral to many of our undergraduate programs, and you'll have the chance to apply what you've learned on our trip to a world-class Triassic fossil plant site.

As a researcher, you'll have the opportunity to undertake investigations that are academic or industrial in focus.

Undergraduate courses

Marine Geoscience and Palaeoceanography

Palaeobiology

Application information

For answers to frequently asked questions, and information about programs, applications, fees and student life, visit UQ's Future Students website.

Higher degrees by research

We offer the following higher degree by research (HDR) programs:

Find out more about our higher degrees by research.