Geology BSc (Hons)

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: F600
  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33 / BTEC : D*DD
earth-sci-1

Module details

Programme Year One

Year One aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to core disciplines in geoscience assuming no prior knowledge of the subject. A strong feature of Year One is the development of transferable skills (e.g. Geographical Information Systems [GIS], IT, essay writing, oral communication), integrated within a tutorial system. Tutorials are run by academic staff.

Fieldwork involves:

  • 1 day in North England (October)
  • 8 days in Pembrokeshire (Easter)

Students should take the following compulsory modules.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics (ENVS112)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    The “Earth structure and plate tectonics” module provide an introduction to the Earth and aim to teach students about:
    1) the structure and composition of the Earth, the Earth’s gravitational and magnetic fields, and dynamics within the deep Earth; 2) the physics of Earth material and the geological time scale; and 3) plate tectonics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) On completion of this module, students should have concepts and knowledge of the physical properties and behaviour of Earth materials.

    (LO2) On completion of this module, students should have concepts and knowledge of the geological time scale and radiometric dating methods.

    (LO3) On completion of this module, students should be able to understand the plate tectonic model and the relationship between plate tectonics and geological and geophysical observations in the major plate tectonic settings.

    (LO4) On completion of this module, students should be able to explain and evaluate the relationships between Earth structure, composition, physical behaviour and Earth dynamics.

    (LO5) On completion of this module, students should be able to explain and evaluate the relationships between plate tectonics and geological and geophysical processes and observations in the major plate tectonic settings.

    (S1) On completion of this module, students should be able to manipulate geological and geophysical data to help understand Earth structure and processes.

    (S2) On completion of this module, students should have developed their skills in problem solving including simple numerical problems.

    (S3) On completion of this module, students should have developed their skills in numeracy through completion of assignments.

    (S4) On completion of this module, students should have developed their skills in information synthesis and collation.

    (S5) On completion of this module, students should have developed their skills in time management through assignment deadlines.

  • Introduction to Field Geology (ENVS109)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To introduce students to field geology and enable students to apply knowledge and understanding that they have developed previously in lab-based modules.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) On successful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate competence in rock, fossil, and mineral identification, and the identification and measurement of characteristic features of rock outcrops.

    (LO2) On successful completion of this module, students should be able to complete hazard assessments of geological field localities based on topography, access, tide times, etc.

    (LO3) On successful completion of this module, students should be able to record observations and interpretations in a scientific notebook.

    (LO4) On successful completion of this module, students should be able to perform sedimentary analysis through the construction and interpretation of sedimentary logs.

    (LO5) On successful completion of this module, students should be able to perform geometrical analysis of geological structures through the use of stereonets.

    (LO6) On successful completion of this module, students should have grasped the rudiments of geological mapping, GVS construction, and cross section construction.

    (LO7) On successful completion of this module, students should be able to use geological field observations as a basis to interpret outcrop features in terms of geological processes and environments.

    (LO8) On successful completion of this module, students should be able to summarize the geological history of Pembrokeshire, derived from the synthesis of multiple days of field observations and interpretations.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Ethical awareness

    (S4) Adaptability

    (S5) Organisational skills

    (S6) Time management

  • Introduction to Geoscience and Earth History (ENVS123)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    Provide a broad, holistic introduction to the geosciences, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of the subject, and being accessible for non-geoscience disciplines;
    Equip students to understand the relevance of the more detailed geoscience material following in the rest of their programmes;
    Begin to equip students with key practical skills across a range of geoscience disciplines;
    Begin to expose students to an indicative range of research expertise in the School of Environmental Sciences;
    Develop skills for learning by group interaction and guided research.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Explain current models for the origin and structure of the Earth, and summarise supporting evidence

    (LO2) Explain, with examples, the nature of most common Earth materials, with basic knowledge of why they are important

    (LO3) List processes that are modifying the Earth and it's biosphere, including human processes

    (LO4) Define the time and spatial scales involved in the Earth structure and evolution

    (LO5) Relate the 3D structure and evolution of regions of the Earth's crust using typical geological media such as geological maps and cross sections

    (LO6) Introduce the problem of a sustainable biosphere for a rapidly growing human population and the role the geoscience has in defining and tackling this problem

    (S1) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations

    (S2) Learning skills online studying and learning effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal

    (S3) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

    (S4) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S5) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

  • Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks and Fossils (ENVS118)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting75:25
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the study of sediments and sedimentary rocks and to introduce the main groups of common fossil.

    The module aims to cover the basic language used to describe sediments and fossils and gives an introduction to a range of physical, chemical and biological concepts.

    The students are introduced to the economic significance of sediments and sedimentary rocks and how fossils provide information on geological time, evolutionary history and ancient environments.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to describe sediments and sedimentary rocks at outcrop, hand specimen and thin section scales, identifying and naming key structures and fabrics.

    (LO2) 2. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between process and product for both depositional and diagenetic features and be able to discuss the utility of sedimentary rocks to determine processs and, to a lesser extent, environment.

    (LO3) 3. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to describe, name and identify and interpret the main features of common fossils.

    (LO4) 4. On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of how organisms are preserved as fossils, and of the utility of fossils to identify ancient modes of life, environments and relative ages of rocks.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Organisational skills

    (S3) Commercial awareness

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Teamwork

    (S6) Lifelong learning skills

  • Introduction to Structural Geology and Geological Maps (ENVS156)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    To introduce small - and large - scale geological structures.

    To introduce the principles of stress and strain.

    To introduce stereographic projection techniques.

    To introduce the expressions of geological contacts on maps.

    To introduce the representation of geological features on maps.

    To introduce the analysis of geological histories.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and understanding

    On completion of this module you should:

    Know the geometry and nomenclature of geological structures;

    Understand the appropriate classification schemes for geological structures;

    Understand how selected small - scale structures may be used to interpret the geometry of large - scale structures.

    (LO2) Intellectual abilities

    On completion of this module you should:

    Have developed strategies for the description and identification of geological structures;

    Have developed strategies for the analysis of geological contacts displayed on maps;

    Have an appreciation of stress and strain, and the differences between them.

    (LO3) Practical skills

    On completion of this module you should be competent in:

    The use of a compass - clinometer;

    The plotting and manipulation of orientation data using a stereographic projection;

    The portrayal of three - dimensional structures in two - dimensions;

    The interpretation of two - dimensional representations of three - dimensional structures;

    The preparation of cross - sections and generalised stratigraphical columns from the information displayed on geological maps;

    The analysis of stratigraphical, structural and temporal relationships from the information displayed on geological maps.

    (LO4) General transferable skills

    On completion of this module you should have:

    Learnt by example how to use textbooks to support your studies.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Adaptability

    (S3) Numeracy

    (S4) Communication Skills

  • Study Skills and Gis (earth Science) (ENVS101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop essential study and disciplinary skills required by Environmental Scientists, both for their current studies and future employment.

    Introduce students to key approaches/concepts and ideas in the Earth Sciences.

    To help students identify and effectively employ appropriate sources of data and information.

    Develop students' study skills and provide essential training for subsequent years Develop students' personal transferable skills.

    To introduce the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to Environmental Science.

    To introduce students to computer programming.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Record field observations and ideas, and write a reflective account.

    (LO2) Plan and structure written work to University standard.

    (LO3) Demonstrate basic GIS interpretation and analysis techniques.

    (LO4) Use IT tools to find accurate and up to date information, including University Library resources.

    (LO5) Develop programming skills for use in later modules.

    (LO6) Develop employability skills through a CV and application letter exercise.

    (LO7) Develop ability to communicate science in a small group.

    (LO8) Demonstrate understanding of UoL Academic Integrity policy.

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

    (S3) Time and project management - Personal organisation

    (S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

    (S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

    (S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

    (S7) Information skills - Information accessing:[Locating relevant information] [Identifying and evaluating information sources]

    (S8) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

    (S9) IT skills in use of Microsoft software and in computer programming.

Year One Optional Modules

  • Climate, Atmosphere and Oceans (ENVS111)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
    Aims

    Introduce the climate system, the atmosphere and ocean:

    Address how the climate system varies and how climate is controlled by radiative forcing;

    How the structure of the atmosphere is determined and how the atmosphere circulates;

    How the structure of the ocean is determined and how the ocean circulates;

    How the atmosphere and ocean vary together;

    How the past state of the climate system is affected by the ocean circulation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. Knowledge and Understanding   a. Understand how physical processes operate within the climate system, the atmosphere and the ocean. b. Appreciate the complexity of the climate system, the effect of radiative forcing, the concept of feedbacks, how rotation affects the circulation; the differences between currents and waves. c. Gain awareness of the similarities and differences between the atmosphere and ocean.

    (LO2) 2. Intellectual Abilities a. To be able to evaluate the relative importance of different physical processes in the climate systemb. To develop critical skills in transferring insight gained from one problem to another problem, such as how the atmosphere circulates from one planet to another planet.

    (LO3) 3. Subject Based Practical Skills   a. Perform simple order of magnitude calculations and make inferences from the results. b. Understand the use of dimensions.

    (LO4) 4. General Transferable Skills   a. Application of numbers, involving order of magnitudes and dimensions. b. Time management. c. Problem solving.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

  • Environmental Chemistry (ENVS153)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting55:45
    Aims

    To provide a basic understanding of chemistry relevant for environmental sciences.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) a. describe the structure of an atom, its electronic configuration and predict some of its chemical behaviour based on its position in the periodic table;

    (LO2) b. understand the inter andintramolecular forces that bond molecules and atoms together to form "matter", and thusexplain why for instance water is a liquid atroom temperature while oxygen is a gas;

    (LO3) c. name chemical compounds, write balanced chemical reactions and understand howthe amount of products and reactants can be predicted;

    (LO4) d. understand what redox reactions are and be able to work them out;

    (LO5) e. understand basics of aquatic chemistry such aspH, concentration, dilution; understand energy changes in chemical reactions;

    (LO6) f. know the basics of organic biogeochemistry.

    (S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S2) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

  • Chem111 Introductory Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM111)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting65:35
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of the underlying principles of the chemistry of the main group elements and to give them an appreciation of the importance of this chemistry in everyday life.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Understanding of the periodic table as an underlying framework for understanding the chemistry of the main group elements

    (LO2) Understanding of the crystal structures of metals and simple ionic solids

    (LO3) Understanding of Lewis acid-Lewis base interactions

    (LO4) Understanding of systematic chemistry of halides and hydrides of the main group elements

    (LO5) Understanding of systematic chemistry of halides and hydrides of the main group elements

    (LO6) Understanding of the basic techniques required for the preparation and analysis of simple inorganic compounds

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Planning and time-management associated with practical work

    (S3) Report writing

  • Essential Mathematical Skills (ENVS117)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    Aims

    To create a firm foundation of mathematics relating to pure maths, physics (mechanics) and statistics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module a student should be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of pure mathematics, mathematics mechanics, and statistical mathematics.

    (LO2) At the end of the module the student should be able to;

    - Demonstrate skills in the application of mathematical methods to the solution of problems.

    - Use dimensional analysis and apply it to real world problems.

    (LO3) At the end of the module a student should be able to;

    - Do simple estimations by hand

    - Rearrange algebraic formulae to make the required quantity the subject

    - Insert values in a formula and calculate the correct answer

    - Basic calculus.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

  • Mathematics for Physicists I (PHYS107)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To provide a foundation for the mathematics required by physical scientists. To assist students in acquiring the skills necessary to use the mathematics developed in the module.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) A good working knowledge of differential and integral calculus

    (LO2) Familiarity with some of the elementary functions common in applied mathematics and science

    (LO3) An introductory knowledge of functions of several variables

    (LO4) Manipulation of complex numbers and use them to solve simple problems involving fractional powers

    (LO5) An introductory knowledge of series

    (LO6) A good rudimentary knowledge of simple problems involving statistics: binomial and Poisson distributions, mean, standard deviation, standard error of mean

    (S1) Problem solving skills

  • Theory and Laboratory Experiments in Earth Surface Processes (ENVS165)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The module uses a lecture and laboratory-based problem-solving approach to explore some of the fundamental physical and chemical processes underlying physical geography. It is designed to provide a foundation for environmental and physical geography modules in the second and third years.

    It also aims to provide training in careful observation, appropriate handing of liquid and solid samples, and correct use of analytical instruments. Throughout there is emphasis on quality control via replication and reference materials, and appropriate use of descriptive and inferential statistics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) The core processes and landforms underlying major geomorphic systems

    (LO2) Long term environmental change – Pleistocene and Holocene

    (LO3) A deeper understanding of processes that underlie the interaction between people and the physical environment

    (LO4) Specific knowledge in the use of selected important analytical instruments; and general knowledge about the principles and practice of accurate and precise measurement

    (LO5) Appropriate treatment of data, including quality control, graphical representation, and statistical analysis

    (S1) IT skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Problem solving skills

    (S4) Teamwork

Programme Year Two

Year Two takes subjects to greater depth and builds student skills in synthesising and evaluating geological data. A key part of the year is training students in preparation for their Year Three independent field projects, particularly in tutorial sessions run by academic staff.

Fieldwork involves:

  • 15 days Geological Mapping Training in Spain (Easter)

To fulfil the aims of the year and gain accreditation, all modules are compulsory.

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Exploration Geophysics (ENVS216)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    This module aims to enable students to gain an understanding in the basic principles and practise of exploration geophysics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) On successful completion of the module, students should be capable of explaining the principles of seismic refraction and reflection, electrical and electromagnetic methods, gravity and magnetic surveying and well logging.

    (LO2) On successful completion of the module students should be able to identify which geophysical technique(s) should be applied to the solution of specific geological and environmental problems.

    (LO3) On successful completion of the module students should be able to carry out simple interpretations of data derived from the application of these geophysical methods.

    (S1) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

    (S2) Information skills - Critical reading

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

  • Field Mapping Techniques (ENVS269)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To train students in the techniques required to make geological and geomorphological maps.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding

    On successful completion of this module, students should have competence in:

    the geological/geomorphological history and structural geometry of a mapping area.

    (LO2) Intellectual Abilities

    On successful completion of this module, students should have competence in:

    developing lithostratigraphic models;

    three-dimensual visualization of geological/geomorphological relationships and developing geometrical models;

    analysis and synthesis of discrete observations to build an overall solution (map and interpreation of geological/geomorphological evolution).

    (LO3) Subject Based Practical Skills

    On successful completion of this module, students should have competence in:

    Map skills;

    How to locate themselves on a topographic map, both with and without a compass How to follow a linear feature and mark this on a map;

    How to record structural measurements on a map;

    How to record map data in the field How to ink in a map to make a permanent record;

    How to keep a notebook to accompany a map, including practical solutions for linking locality information between the two.Related skills;

    How to construct a cross section in the field How to construct a GVS in the field;

    How to develop lithostratigraphy from lithology, geometry and younging evidence.

    (LO4) General Transferable Skills

    On successful completion of this module, students should have competence in:

    Teamwork through initial mapping training in small groups. Time and logistical management constrained by the need to meet regular deadlines and the often unpredictable nature of weather conditions.

    Conceptual problem solving through repeated observation, analysis and synthesis cycles.

    Fieldwork hazard assessment and safe conduct in mountain terrain.

    Graphical communication through the development of graphical representations of geology/geomorphology (map, section GVS).

    (S1) Adaptability

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Teamwork

    (S4) Organisational skills

    (S5) Communication skills

    (S6) Leadership

  • Metamorphism and Crustal Evolution (ENVS212)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To introduce metamorphic rocks and the ways in which they form, to develop observational skills in relation to metamorphic rocks, and to show how they relate to other parts of geology. To convey the detailed techniques used for studying mineral assemblages in metamorphic rocks, to illustrate these in relation to contact and regional metamorphic case studies, and to discuss the large scale patterns of metamorphic rocks in terms of burial, erosion and overprinting.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) To recall and explain the basic nomenclature and concepts used in metamorphism

    (LO2) To use and explain graphical, pictorial and numerical techniques related to metamorphic study

    (LO3) Ability to describe and identify common metamorphic minerals and textures in hand specimen and/or using the microscope

    (LO4) Ability to interpret common metamorphic minerals and textures from individual observations, diagrams and basic concepts

    (LO5) To recall and explain the origins of large scale metamorphic patterns from for example burial, heating, erosion and overprinting, ultimately linked to plate tectonic setting

    (LO6) To recall and explain how the evolution of a particular mountain belt involves the links between metamorphism and other geological processes

    (S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S2) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

  • Minerals, Magmas and Igneous Geochemistry (ENVS247)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To introduce and consolidate understanding of rock forming minerals and their properties;

    To examine mineral occurrence and environments;

    To consider the physical and chemical properties of magmas, how compositions of magmas are changed, and how magma emplacement history is recorded in rock texture;

    To use standard geochemical diagrams to classify igneous rocks and model the evolution of magmatic systems;

    To engage with new and emerging ideas in the mineralogical, igneous petrology and economic geology literature;

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Use the properties of common rock-forming minerals identified using a hand lens and a polarising microscope to classify and interpret common rocks

    (LO2) Be able to observe, record, interpret and present descriptive information on minerals and their properties, and interpret mineral environments, physical and geochemical processes

    (LO3) Be able to infer conditions and processes of emplacement and comment on economic resources through igneous rock texture and plotting/analysing standard geochemical graphs

    (LO4) Use basic laboratory equipment to plan and complete an experiment to collect and analyse high quality data

    (LO5) Work with geochemical data using Microsoft Excel and specialist geochemical plotting software

    (S1) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Following instructions/protocols/procedures

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

    (S4) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

    (S5) Personal attributes and qualities - Self-efficacy (self-belief/intrinsic motivation)

  • Research Skills (geosciences) (ENVS200)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to develop students' understanding and appreciation of the Geosciences as a contemporary academic discipline with applications in the real world;
    to develop students' skills of critical analysis and academic writing;  to support students' preparation for individual research projects;
    to develop students' study and personal transferable skills;
    to develop students' awareness of careers and employability.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Identify a research problem or subject and design an appropriate research strategy.

    (LO2) Write a report in an academic style (technical English) with appropriate illustrations, citations and references.

    (LO3) Make an oral presentation to a small group  on a researched topic involving geology and ethics.

    (LO4) Develop employability skills through attending careers sessions.

    (LO5) Be competetent in advanced use of word processing, bibliographic and drawing software for production of research reports and final geological maps.

    (LO6) Demonstrate competence in identifying hazards and risks associated with a future field-based independent project.

    (S1) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

    (S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - visual

    (S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

    (S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

    (S7) Time and project management - Personal action planning

    (S8) Time and project management - Project planning

    (S9) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S10) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

    (S11) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

    (S12) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

    (S13) Information skills - Critical reading

    (S14) Global citizenship - Ethical awareness

  • Sedimentary Processes and Depositional Environments (ENVS219)
    Level2
    Credit level120
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
    Aims

    Educational Aims entered here...

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Learning outcome 1

  • Structural Geology and Interpretation of Geological Maps (ENVS263)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To develop an understanding of the geometric, kinematic and temporal relationships between similar and dissimilar structures;
    To develop an understanding of the role of finite strain in geological structures.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1. Knowledge and Understanding
    On successful completion of this module students should:a. know the common associations of small- and large-scale geological structures;
    b. understand the principles of finite strain in two- and three-dimensions.

  • Volcanology and Geohazards (ENVS284)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To examine fundamentally contrasting magmatic systems and consider in each case the nature and origin of the volcanic activity;
    To consider the scientific basis for anticipation of geohazards and impact of volcanism on climate;
    To consider the objectives of risk mitigation strategies and their problems of implementation;
    To examine the problems of dealing with uncertainties on a range of time-scales, including geological time-scales, and to review statistical methods for semi-quantitative analysis;
    To consider the problems associated with volcanic risk mitigation and evaluate the role of the scientist in specific cases;
    To evaluate the media handling of geohazards and climate change, from the perspectives both of quality of science, ethics and moral issues.

    Learning Outcomes

    (L5-1) Explain key volcanological processes and concepts and critically assess their associated hazards.

    (L5-2) Integrate diverse primary evidence to construct and evaluate conceptual models of volcanic processes.

    (L5-3) Evaluate strategies for effective communication of scientific ideas and concepts with stakeholders, and critically assess the role of the media.

    (L5-4) Plan a laboratory experiment and use basic laboratory equipment to complete an experiment which tests scientific hypotheses.

    (L5-5) Demonstrate understanding of the nature, origins and possible outcomes of natural hazards and be able to evaluate risk mitigation strategies.

    (L5-6) Use numerical methods for risk quantification and dealing with uncertainty.

    (S1) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Following instructions/protocols/procedures

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

    (S4) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving Skills

    (S5) Ethical awareness

    (S6) Organisational skills

Programme Year Three

Year Three provides a range of pathways (Petroleum Geology, Mineral Deposits, Applied Environmental Geology, Volcanology) via optional modules in applied geology as well as modules that are more academic. All modules are research-based. Whichever pathway is followed, the aim is to train students in the analysis of large-scale, multidisciplinary geological problems and to provide an awareness of the key applications and employment areas of geoscience. A major feature of this year of study is the independent field project and dissertation in which students have the opportunity to conduct a major piece of original field-based research and to present it in both a conference talk and a substantial report.

Fieldwork:

  • 13 days Advanced Field Techniques in Donegal, Ireland (summer between Years Two and Three)
  • 35 days independent project fieldwork (in the summer between Years Two and Three).
  • 7 days Applied Basin Analysis Field Course in Dorset (Easter)

Independent project work involves:

  • Dissertation write-up during Semester One, Year Three, of 35 days independent fieldwork.

Students take three compulsory modules and choose four optional modules as outlined below.

Year Three Compulsory Modules

  • Advanced Geology Field Techniques (ENVS351)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The module is based on a series of projects concerned with a range of geological phenomena. The aim of this module is to develop a student’s capability for independent detailed and sophisticated field analysis of rocks and relationships related to these phenomena.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1a. On successful completion of this module, students will know in detail some of the key events in the geological history of County Donegal.

    (LO2) 2a. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to undertake the reconnaissance of an area and identify the important geological processes that have operated.

    (LO3) 2b. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to plan, implement and report on a detailed geological analysis, including the following stages: (1) data collection, (2) interpretation, (3) synthesis, (4) evaluation, (5) planning. During the data collection phase, appropriate techniques must be identified, applied and, where necessary, refined or adapted to suit local circumstances.

    (LO4) 3a. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed a capability for detailed and sophisticated field analysis of rocks and the processes that formed them.

    (LO5) 3b. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to integrate geological information from a range of sources to produce a geological history.

    (LO6) 3c. On successful completion of this module, students will have the ability to maintain a personal field notebook at an advanced level.

    (LO7) 4a. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed their ability to manage their time both as individuals and as part of a group.

    (LO8) 4b. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed their ability to report and discuss verbally their observations and interpretations.

    (LO9) 4c. On successful completion of this module, students will have developed their ability to communicate graphically their observations, interpretatiopns and conclusions.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Leadership

    (S4) Adaptability

    (S5) Organisational skills

    (S6) Communication skills

  • Field Project and Dissertation (ENVS354)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    For students to complete an independent field project involving creation of:
    a geological and/or geomorphological map; 
    field (and if appropriate, laboratory) notebook;
    other field data (e.g. cross sections, logs, stereonets, river data, glacial data);  
    a final dissertation together with a final poster (often but not always a map) constructed from the field data.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to describe the geology and/or geomorphology of an area based on independent investigation

    (LO2) Ability to interpret the data related to that area to create a model for the evolution of the area

    (LO3) Ability to synthesise the geological and/or geomorphological history of that area, referring to (but not relying upon) previous literature

    (LO4) Ability to report on the project in a presentation

    (LO5) Ability to report on the project in a written dissertation

    (S1) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

    (S2) Self-management readiness to accept responsibility (i.e. leadership), flexibility, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, readiness to improve own performance based on feedback/reflective learning

    (S3) Organisational skills

  • Field Project and Dissertation (geology/geophysics) (ENVS355)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    For students to complete an independent geological mapping project involving these key components:

    a. creation of a geological map and cross section.
    b. completion of a field notebook
    c. submission of a final dissertation together with a final map and cross section constructed from the field maps.

    and other detailed components specified separately.

    Learning Outcomes

    1. To be able to demonstrate independence in geological mapping, data gathering and synthesising geological data whilst in the field. Independent data gathering and interpretation is paramount. Knowledge of previous work is expected but will not replace or override independent work.
    2. To be able to prepare and present a talk on an aspect of this work.
    3. To be able to produce a report accompanied by an A3 map and cross section (and other details specified separately) presenting the data gathered and its interpretation. Knowledge of previous work is expected but will not replace or override the interpretation of the independent work presented.

Year Three Optional Modules

  • Petroleum Geology (ENVS337)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The aims of the module are:

    to provide students with suitable background to the concepts used by the petroleum industry;

    to equip them with the techniques to assess petroleum reserves and reservoir quality.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to describe what the basin types are and the mechanics of their formation

    (LO2) Ability to describe and apply a workflow to calculate hydrocarbon volume in place and appreciate the uncertainties inherant in the answer

    (LO3) Ability to collect industry-standard sedimentological information

    (LO4) Ability to synthesize, evaluate and report on a sedimentological, petrophysical and petrological dataset from the North Sea to assess: the petroleum system, reservoir quality and economic viability

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Teamwork

    (S4) Organisational skills

    (S5) Communication skills

    (S6) IT skills

    (S7) Leadership

    (S8) Ethical awareness

  • Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (ENVS338)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    1.    To provide a soundtheoretical frameworks from and within which the strategies, methods andprocedures used in engineering geology and hydrogeology can be developed andunderstood   2.    To illustrate usingselected topics key aspects of engineering geology and its applications innatural and built environments     3.    To highlight therelationships between engineering geology and hydrogeology   4.     Toillustrate, using a case study, the application of engineering geology andhydrogeology to the assessment of stability in a natural system

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Describe and explain the principles of stress andits analysis in two - and three - dimensions

    (LO2) Describe and explain the mechanics of fractureand sliding

    (LO3) Describe quantitatively and semi -quantitatively recoverable and irrecoverable deformations and discriminatebetween them

    (LO4) Describe and explain how and why water moves andis stored in aquifers

    (LO5) Recognise the mechanics that underpin selectedstability criteria

    (LO6) Evaluate the validity of a given stabilitycriterion and assess its reliability in a given situation

    (LO7) Apply the principles of rock and soil mechanicsto selected geomechanical systems

    (LO8) Evaluate hydrogeological properties of aquifersand aquicludes using a variety of approaches

    (LO9) Prepare and use Mohr circles to represent andanalyse states of stress

    (LO10) Use Mohr diagrams to investigate the mechanicsof fracture and sliding

    (LO11) Determine, using industry standard tests, thestrengths of rock samples and, from experiment the rheological properties ofanalogue materials

    (LO12) Determine using a variety of techniques the hydraulic conductivity of aquifers andpredict patterns and rates of water flow in the subsurface

    (LO13) Design, implement and summarise a field - basedinvestigation of an engineering geological problem

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Teamwork

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Ethical awareness

  • Environmental Geophysics (ENVS258)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
    Aims

    This module aims to build on theory taught in ENVS216 through practical application of methods previously taught. In addition, fundamentals of remote sensing will be taught. The module will equip students with experience in a range of geophysical methods, carrying out surveys and associated data analysis and interpretation. How the various methods can be integrated will also be explored.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will learn fundamentals of good survey practice in electrical, seismic, gravity and magnetic methods to make them ready for field-based activity with industry.

    (LO2) Students will learn basics of remote sensing techniques and how to interpret images, including through the use of GIS.

    (LO3) To interpret, both qualitatively and quantitatively, practical data derived from the application of field methods.

    (LO4) To interpret graphs and remotely sensed data.

    (S1) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

    (S2) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

    (S3) Working in groups and teams - Group action planning

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

    (S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

    (S6) Information skills - Record-keeping

    (S7) competency in using a range of common geophysical surveying equipment

  • Geoarchaeology (ENVS392)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
    Aims

    To provide an understanding the principles and methods of the application of the earth sciences in archaeological investigations.

    To develop an appreciation of the value of a multidisciplinary scientific approach to understanding landscape evolution during archaeological investigations

    To provide an understanding of the principles and methods of archaeological sciences in archaeological investigations.

    To develop an understanding of the techniques used in archaeological sciences during investigation of artefacts and their geological significance .

    To gain experience in the use of multiple data sets from different scientific disciplines used in archaeological analyses.

    To develop experience in communicating between multiple disciplines and both scientifically literate specialist and non-specialist audiences.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Understand the different aspects of geoarchaeology and scientific archaeology

    (LO2) Know the range of different practical analyses that can be used in geoarchaeological and archaeometric investigations

    (LO3) Understand how and where to apply multiple datasets in geoarchaeological and archaeometric investigations

    (LO4) Critically evaluate competing theories of landscape and palaeoenvironmental development

    (LO5) Critically evaluate the benefits of different techniques and be able to assess the appropriate scientific techniques to answer archaeological questions

    (LO6) Assess and communicate the level of certainty in predictions from imperfect datasets

    (LO7) Use different microscopy techniques to recognise important minerals and alteration products

    (LO8) Use data from a range of scientific methods to interpret landscape and palaeoenvironmental influences, source materials and chronology

    (LO9) Use and correlate stratigraphic data from archaeological sites

    (LO10) Presentation skills for written and oral work and communication of scientific data to different audiences

    (LO11) Working collaboratively to summarise and share information effectively during development of an online resource

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

    (S2) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

    (S5) Working in groups and teams - Group action planning

    (S6) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

    (S7) Skills in using technology - Online communications skills

  • Geodynamics Field Class (ENVS374)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting65:35
    Aims

    In-depth appraisal of models concerned with orogenic evolution: structural, metamorphic, geophysical and sedimentological. NW Spain Variscan geotraverse as the case study. Particular emphasis concerns appreciation of inter-relations of theoretical, experimental and observationally based modelling. Field appraisal of structures, rock textures and compositions. Evolution of structures at different metamorphic grades. In depth appraisal of models concerned with explaining the formation of marine to subaerial sedimentary basins during shortening. Field appraisal of evidence for basin development controlled by orogenesis. Fostering of capability to create a synthesis of diverse models and disparate data.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Fostering of capability to create a synthesis of diverse models and disparate data.

    (LO2) Evolution of structures at different metamorphic grades.

    (LO3) In depth appraisal of models concerned with explaining the formation of marine to subaerial sedimentary basins during shortening.

    (LO4) Field appraisal of evidence for basin development controlled by orogenesis.

    (S1) On successful completion of this module the student should: a. Be advanced problem solvers through undertaking a research-level appraisal of a major geoscientific thesis, assessing relevant field evidence bearing on the proposition, synthesising the current state of knowledge and limitations to understanding, and devising appropriate strategies for advancement of understanding. b. Be capable of working under duress in a physically demanding environment. c. Have developed social team skills through communal living.

    (S2) On successful completion of this module the student should: a. Be able to record and assimilate field data on an orogenic (100 km) scale and unravel, restore and/or backstrip these to establish spatial changes through time. b. Maintain a high-level field notebook that clearly distinguishes data, received information, interpretation and commentary on hypothesis testing.

    (S3) On successful completion of this module the student should: a. Be able to evaluate complex and disparate sets of data for their bearing on models proposed to explain elements of orogenesis. b. Be able to analyse conflicting scientific propositions, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and applying data suitable for resolving uncertainty.

    (S4) On successful completion of this module the student should: a. Know the overall history of NW Spain Variscan evolution, and the types of data sets that underpin this. b. Understand the nature and origins of models (possibly conflicting) for structural, metamorphic and sedimentological evolution during orogenesis, and know the strengths and weaknesses of each. c. Understand how the field observations made during the field class link to and a illuminate the large-scale picture as deduced from literature and other given information.

  • Introduction to Quaternary Micropalaeontology (ENVS342)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module seeks toprovide an appreciation and understanding of the methods and techniques usedin micropalaeontology that will enable students to have an insight in aresearch field that is highly relevant for environmental sciences as well asgeosciences, including palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology and palaeoceanography.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Have astrong understanding of biological proxies that are used to reconstructQuaternary environments

    (LO2) Be able toidentify at a generic level marine and terrestrial key microfossils

    (LO3) Understandprinciples of uniformitarianism and palaeoecology

    (LO4) Understandand apply principles of quantitative reconstructions of past conditions

    (LO5) Understandlimitations of the proxies

    (S1) Numeracy

    (S2) research skills

    (S3) laboratory procedures

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Problem solving skills

  • Mineral Resources (ENVS326)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    The module aims:

    To provide understanding of major types of mineral deposits through critical assessment of conceptual models of deposit forming processes;

    To synthesise the distribution of mineral deposits in space and time and to evaluate this in relation to overall Earth evolution;

    To develop an understanding of mineral exploration and resource estimation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Successful students will be able to describe and explain the geological and geochemical processes responsible for the main types of mineral deposit: magmatic, hydrothermal, sedimentary.

    (LO2) Successful students will be able to describe the evidence for non-uniform distribution of mineral deposits in space and time and critically evaluate the reasons in relation to uniformitarian and non-uniformitarian processes and events in Earth history.

    (LO3) Successful students will be able to design an appropriate strategy for mineral exploration and use order of magnitude and dimensional analysis to quantify resource.

    (LO4) Successful students will be able to work effectively in a mineral exploration team and present results both orally and in executive report form.

    (S1) Commercial awareness

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Communication skills

    (S4) Ethical awareness

    (S5) International awareness

    (S6) Problem solving skills

    (S7) Numeracy

  • Science Communication (ENVS393)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    Provide key transferable skills to undergraduates, including: communication, presentation, practical classroom skills and team working. Provide classoom based experience for undergraduates who are considering teaching as a potential career Encourage a new generation of STEM teachers. Provide role models for pupils within schools located in areas of high deprivation. Increase University of Liverpool widening participation activites within merseyside.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Have an understanding of the UK educational system and relevant teaching and learning styles.

    (LO2) Have an understanding of the Widening Participation Agenda

    (LO3) Have an understanding of relevant STEM subjects and activities that would link into the National Curriculum

    (LO4) Develop appropriate STEM activities for KS2 and KS3 school groups that link with the National Curriculum

    (LO5) Reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of the outreach acivities and their delivery

    (LO6) Be able to apply the relevant protocols and safeguarding practice when delivering within a school setting

    (LO7) Be able to apply practical knowledge of effective delivery styles when engaging with primary or secondary aged pupils

    (LO8) Have experience of planning the delivery of a project

    (LO9) Have experience of team working

    (LO10) Have experience of science communication in a variety of situations

    (S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – envisioning

    (S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

    (S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

    (S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

    (S6) Time and project management - Project planning

    (S7) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

    (S8) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

    (S9) Global citizenship - Understanding of equality and diversity

    (S10) Personal attributes and qualities - Willingness to take responsibility

  • Simulating Environmental Systems (ENVS397)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:0
    Aims

    This module aims to provide students with ability to better understand numerical models used in the environmental sciences, and to develop key skills required to create and use simple examples of environmental numerical models. The module aims to also equip students with very important transerable skills in coding.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Represent some basic environmental processes in geomorphology, geology, geophysics, oceanography and ecology as simple equations, algorithms and data structures

    (LO2) Construct and execute useful numerical experiments with simple forward mdoels to analyse how a particular system may work

    (LO3) Write effective, clear code in a high-level programming language e.g. Matlab, Python

    (LO4) Visualise model output in an effective way

    (LO5)

  • Applied Geology and Geohazards of the Canary Islands (ENVS375)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To examine and evaluate the state-of-the-art aspects of advanced modern geology and geohazards, particularly where there has been recent innovation, controversy or popular concern.

    To integrate as far as possible, or to contrast, theoretical, numerical and experimental modelling with observation and phenomenological studies.

    To foster critical appraisal of scientific presentations (e.g. research paper(s), report(s), media).

    To foster scientific teamwork, co-operation and development of consensus.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Explain and discuss recent models of certain key geological and geohazard processes critical to the current state of knowledge

    (LO2) Use primary evidence (field data, publications) to investigate the origins of scientific controversies and evaluate how best to maximise objectivity

    (LO3) Defend a research-level scientific case presented as an oral presentation

    (LO4) Critically review published literature

    (S1) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

    (S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Following instructions/protocols/procedures

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

    (S4) Ethical judgement

    (S5) Organisational skills

    (S6) Working with others through research-level scientific teamwork

The programme detail and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.


Teaching and Learning

Teaching takes place through lectures, practicals, workshops, seminars, tutorials and fieldwork, with an emphasis on learning through doing. The award-winning Central Teaching Laboratories, provide a state-of-the-art facility for undergraduate practical work. Students value the learning opportunities provided by field classes, including the rapid and detailed feedback on performance.

You will typically receive 15-20 hours of formal teaching each week, and complete between 50 and 100 days of residential fieldwork over the course of their programme. In Years Three and Four you will carry out independent research projects on a topic and location of your choice. All projects are supervised by a member of staff who will meet with you on a weekly, or more frequent, basis.

A number of the School’s degree programmes involve laboratory and field work. The field work is carried out in various locations, ranging from inner city to coastal and mountainous environments. We consider applications from prospective students with disabilities on the same basis as all other students, and reasonable adjustments will be considered to address barriers to access.