Geology MESci (Hons)

Key information


earth-sci-1

Module details

Due to the impact of COVID-19 we are changing how the course is delivered.

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)

ENVS117 is a compulsory module for those without A2-Level Maths or Physics at grade C or above. ENVS153 is a compulsory module for those without A2-Level Chemistry at grade C or above. You must discuss this with your Programme Director at the start of the academic session.

Year One Compulsory Modules

  • Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics (ENVS112)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    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 a field area, derived from the synthesis of multiple days of field observations and interpretations.

    (S1) Problem solving skills developed in field exercises where students need to gather appropriate data to interpret geological processes and environments.

    (S2) Teamwork - working in groups during field exercises and post-fieldwork poster creation

    (S3) Ethical awareness - understanding need to respect natural environment and minimise impact

    (S4) Adaptability - understanding need to carry out fieldwork appropriate to weather and tidal conditions, and adapt accordingly

    (S5) Organisational skills - organization and maintenance of own field equipment including PPE

    (S6) Time management - students need to meet deadlines for transportation, completion of exercises in the field, and after fieldwork

  • Introduction to Geoscience and Earth History (ENVS123)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    Provide a broad introduction to the geosciences, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of the subject. Assuming no prior knowledge of geoscience, this module is accessible for non-geoscience disciplines (as an optional module);
    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 its 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, influencing, presenting work

    (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 weighting50:50
    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) 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) 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 processes and, to a lesser extent, environment.

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

    (LO4) 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 - practical work aimed at development of logical interpretation

    (S2) Collecting, recording and analysing data using appropriate techniques in the laboratory

    (S3) Commercial awareness - lecture and practical course content covering economic applications of sedimentology and palaeontology

    (S4) Communicating appropriately in written and graphical forms

    (S5) Analysing, synthesising and summarising information.

    (S6) Applying knowledge and understanding

  • Introduction to Structural Geology and Geological Maps (ENVS156)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    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:

    Learned to incorporate indenpendent research and reading into your studeies.
    Practised how to cite research material in your academic writing.
    Developed a beginning skill in academic writing.
    Learned how to engage in effective group work.

    (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

    This module aims to develop essential study and disciplinary skills required by Earth Scientists, both for their current studies and future employment.

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

    The module seeks to help students identify and effectively employ appropriate sources of data and information.

    The module inroduces students to the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to Environmental Science and introduces students to computer programming.

    Develop students' personal and transferable skills.

    An overarching aim is to develop students' study skills and provide essential training for subsequent years

    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 weighting60:40
    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 in affecting the present and past climate system.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 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.

    d. Gain an awareness of policies and strategies to move towards achieving net zero carbon on a national stage.

    (LO2) Intellectual Abilities

    a. To be able to evaluate the relative importance of different physical processes in the climate systemb.

    b. 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) Subject Based Practical Skills

    a. Perform simple order of magnitude calculations and make inferences from the results.

    b. Understand the use of units and dimensions.

    (LO4) General Transferable Skills

    a. Application of numbers, involving order of magnitudes and dimensions.

    b. Time management.

    c. Problem solving.

    d. Group work.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Digital fluency : ability to think critically and make balanced judgments, and use digital platforms to collaborate and communicate.

  • Environmental Chemistry (ENVS153)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    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 and intra-molecular forces that bond molecules and atoms together to form "matter" and thus be able to explain e.g. why water is a liquid at room temperature while oxygen is a gas;

    (LO3) c. name chemical compounds, write balanced chemical reactions and understand how the 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 as pH, concentration, dilution or equilibrium constants.

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

    (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)

  • Essential Mathematical Skills (ENVS117)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    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 weighting60:40
    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.

    *To note that all LOs can be met using fully online delivery methods as needed.

    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 ensure accreditation, all modules are compulsory.

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Exploration Geophysics (ENVS216)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    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, and gravity and magnetic surveying.

    (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

  • 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 weighting75:25
    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. Improves critical thinking (identifying a problem), project management skills, and own learning/performance.

    (LO2) Write a report in an academic style (technical English) with appropriate illustrations, citations and references. Improves critical thinking (analyse, evaluate and sythesise information) and communication skills.

    (LO3) Make an oral presentation to a small group  on a researched topic involving geology and ethics, improving communication skills and ethical awareness (linked to global citizenship attribute).

    (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. Improves communication skills and own learning/performance.

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

  • Sedimentary Processes and Depositional Environments (ENVS219)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    Knowledge and skills
    To address aspects of physical, chemical and biological processes of sedimentation in the context of the depositional settings in which they operate. To provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and interpret structures and textures in sedimentary rocks, and for them to develop independent problem solving skills that allow them to interpret depositional environments from the rock record.

    Soft Skills and active learning
    Students should develop independent problem solving skills through the coursework component of the module. In addition, students will foster small group communication skills and confidence in their own abilities.
    This chimes with UoL C2021 priorities for learning and teaching.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to describe how fluid flow governs sediment transport and bedform configuration

    (LO2) Ability to collect and analyse sedimentary information to infer sedimentary process

    (LO3) Ability to recognise a range of depositional environments from the sedimentary record

    (LO4) Ability to use sedimentary information to build facies models for depositional environments

    (LO5) Ability to synthesise sedimentary datasets to demonstrate spatial and temporal evolution of depositional systems

    (LO6) Understanding of how fossils can be used to build stratigraphy and interpret the geological record

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Organisational skills

  • Structural Geology and Interpretation of Geological Maps (ENVS263)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
    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 the analysis of selected geological structures.

    To develop an understanding of the role of stress in the analysis of selected geological structures.

    To develop, using examples, strategies for the analysis and interpretation of geological maps.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Know the common associations of small- and large - scale geological structures

    (LO2) Understand the principles of finite strain in two - and three - dimensions.

    (LO3) Understand the principles of stress in two - and three - dimensions.

    (LO4) Interpret kinematic indicators.

    (LO5) Explain the origins of selected geological structures using kinematic analyses and models.

    (LO6) Explain the origins of selected geological structures using dynamic analyses and models.

    (LO7) Determine the relative ages of pairs of geological structures.

    (LO8) Determine the stratigraphy and structure of an area from the information displayed on geological maps.

    (LO9) Determine and describe the geological history of an area from the information displayed on a geological map.

    (LO10) Construct appropriate diagrams from geological maps and other data that enable geometric and kinematic interpretations to be completed.

    (LO11) Construct valid deformation histories from the relative ages of pairs of geological structures.

    (LO12) Construct chronostratigraphic diagrams from the information displayed on geological maps.

    (LO13) Communicate using graphical techniques.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Adaptability

    (S3) Numeracy

    (S4) Communication Skills

  • 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

  • Field Mapping Techniques (ENVS293)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To train students to use various methods, including mapping, to synthesise the 3D geological and geomorphological structure and deep-time geological history of an area.

    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:
    1. Applying the scientific method to collect, analyse and synthesise discrete observations to build a scientific model e.g. map and interpretation of the geological and geomorphological evolution of an area.
    2. Determining the succession of geological events in order to develop a lithostratigraphic models and geological history
    3. Reconstructing and visualizing three-dimensional geological/geomorphological relationships to develop a 4D model (space and time) that encapsulates, explains and predicts the geology and geomorphology of an area.

    (LO3) Subject Based Practical Skills
    On successful completion of this module, students should have competence in the following Subject Based Practical Skills:
    1. Various map skills, including location on a topographic map, both with and without a compass
    2. Following and depicting linear features, recording structural and stratigraphic data on a map to construct a permanent record, either in the field or online using remote sensing and software e.g. Google Earth
    3. Recording data and interpretations in an accompanying notebook, either physical or digital, with a practical system to link the two.
    4. Other related skills, including GVS and cross section construction, construct a lithostratigraphy and GVS from observed lithologies, geometries and younging evidence.
    5. Doing all of the above throughout the project work such that results from first drafts of e.g. cross-sections, are used to develop, refine and test hypotheses

    (LO4) Transferrable skills
    On successful completion of this module, students should have competence in the following transferable Skills:
    1. Teamwork through working in small groups.
    2. Time and logistical management constrained by the need to meet regular deadlines despite uncertainty e.g. weather conditions.
    3. Conceptual problem solving through repeated observation, analysis and synthesis cycles.
    4. Hazard assessment and safe conduct during field work.
    5. Graphical communication through the development of graphical representations of geology/geomorphology (map, section GVS).
    6. Practical application of the scientific method, constructing, testing and refining hypotheses through data gathering and synthesis

    (S1) Adaptability

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Teamwork

    (S4) Organisational skills

    (S5) Communication skills

    (S6) Leadership

Programme Year Three

Years Three and Four lead students to research-level understanding of a range of Earth Science problems and issues, via formal teaching and independent research work. A major feature of the third year is the independent Field Project and Dissertation in which students have the opportunity to conduct a major piece of independent fieldwork and present it in a substantial report.

Fieldwork involves:

  • 13 days Advanced Field Techniques in Donegal, Ireland (summer between Years Two and Three)
  • 35 days independent project fieldwork (summer between Years Two and Three)
  • 8 day field course in Tenerife or 7 days in Northern Spain

Independent project work involves:

Completion of dissertation during Semester One based on 35 days independent fieldwork during previous summer vacation
Dissertation write-up during Semester One, Year Three, of 35 days independent fieldwork
Students take three compulsory modules and can choose four optional modules as outlined below.

*Please note that students take one of ENVS374/574 and ENVS375/575 in Year 3 and one in Year 4

Year Three Compulsory Modules

  • Field Project and Dissertation (ENVS354)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    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 project in an oral presentation.

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

    (LO6) Ability to integrate range of data sources to create coherent geological synthesis.

    (LO7) Ability to assess resource potential of studied rocks and offshore equivalents.

    (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

  • Advanced Field Skills: From Sediments to Subduction (ENVS370)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    The aim of this module is to develop a student’s capability for independent detailed and sophisticated field analysis of rocks on a range of scales, and deduce the relationships related to the observed phenomena.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 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.

    (LO2) On successful completion of this module, students will be able to record and assimilate field data on a large (10s to 100 km) scale and unravel, restore and/or backstrip these to establish spatial changes through time.

    (LO3) 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) On successful completion of this module, students will be able to integrate geological information from a range of sources to produce a geological history.

    (LO5) On successful completion of this module, students will have the ability to maintain a personal field notebook at an advanced level.

    (LO6) 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.

    (LO7) On successful completion of this module, students will have developed their ability to report and discuss verbally their observations and interpretations.

    (LO8) On successful completion of this module, students will have developed their ability to communicate graphically their observations, interpretations and conclusions.

    (LO9) On successful completion of this module students will be able to create a geological map from field data.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Leadership

    (S4) Adaptability

    (S5) Organisational skills

    (S6) Communication skills

Year Three Optional Modules

  • Geoenergy (ENVS337)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to enable students to recognise different sedimentary basin types and determine how the formed.

    The module seeks to provide students with the ability to evaluate conventional petroleum reserves including an understanding of uncertainty.

    The module aims to train students in the collection and evaluation of industry standard data from subsurface core for the purposes of resource evaluation and the feasibility for geological carbon capture and storage.

    The module further seeks to develop skills in the synthesis, evaluation and reporting on a sedimentological, petrophysical and petrographic dataset from a real-world example, and use this knowledge to assess the economic viability of GeoEnergy systems.

    The module will equip students with high-level knowledge about the role and practical application of geoscience in the developing fields of geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage.

    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 GeoEnergy reserves and appreciate the uncertainties inherent 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 a real-world example and use this knowledge to assess the economic viability of GeoEnergy systems.

    (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 weighting70:30
    Aims

    One. To provide sound theoretical frameworks from and within which the strategies, methods and procedures used in engineering geology and hydrogeology can be developed and understood
    Two. To illustrate using selected topics key aspects of engineering geology and its applications in natural and built environments
    Three. To highlight the relationships between engineering geology and hydrogeology
    Four. To illustrate, using a case study, the application of engineering geology and hydrogeology to the assessment of stability in a natural system

    Learning Outcomes

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

    (LO2) Describe and explain the mechanics of fracture and sliding

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

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

    (LO5) Recognise the mechanics that underpin selected stability criteria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (LO13) Design, implement and summarise a field - based investigation 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 weighting0:100
    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

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

    This module seeks to provide an appreciation and understanding of the methods and techniques used in micropalaeontology that will enable students to have an insight in a research field that is highly relevant for environmental sciences as well as geosciences, including palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology and palaeoceanography.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Have a strong understanding of biological proxies that are used to reconstruct Quaternary environments

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

    (LO3) Understand principles of uniformitarianism and palaeoecology

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

    (LO5) Understand limitations 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 weighting0:100
    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

  • Simulating Environmental Systems (ENVS397)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to:

    Train students in the concepts and techniques required to construct and use numerical forward models of Earth surface systems using high-level programming languages such as Matlab and Python;

    Introduce students to the development and use of numerical forward models as an experimental tool that can be used to better understand and predict how Earth surface systems work;

    Teach students important transferable skills in coding, general numeracy, and data and model visualisation;

    Provide a broad overview of the range of numerical forward models in the environmental sciences, how they are applied, and why they are important.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding

    On successful completion of this module, students should understand:

    Concepts of basic algorithm construction in a high-level programming language, for example Matlab or Python;

    The concepts that underpin formulation and use of numerical forward models of Earth surface systems, including oceanographic and ecological models;

    How to use these numerical models to better understand how the represented real systems work.

    (LO2) Intellectual Abilities

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

    Translation of conceptual ideas and data on how Earth surface systems work into a representative numerical forward model;

    Creation and coding of simple algorithms;

    Design of simple model experiments to explore the likely behaviour of the real system.

    (LO3) Subject Based Practical Skills

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

    Basic modelling algorithm development and coding in an appropriate high-level programming language, for example Matlab or Python;

    Constructing simple numerical forward models of Earth surface systems including stratigraphic, geomorphic, geodynamic, oceanographic and ecological systems;

    Using simple numerical forward models of Earth surface systems to conduct numerical experiments to better understand how the represented real systems work.

    (LO4) General Transferable Skills

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

    Basic general algorithm development and coding in an appropriate high-level programming language, for example Matlab or Python.

    (S1) Communication skills

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Numeracy

  • Applied Geology and Geohazards of the Canary Islands (ENVS375)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    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 (virtual 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 Living, Evolving Earth (ENVS320)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To introduce evolutionary theory and how fossils contribute to the study of evolution;
    To provide an overview of the most important events in the history of life on Earth and an understanding of stratigraphy;
    To demonstrate the interconnectedness of life and the environment through geological time;
    To develop skills in the interpretation and manipulation of palaeontological and related data, and the synthesis of data and literature in producing coherent scientific argument.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) On successful completion of this module, students will understand how evolution occurs and how evolutionary relationships can be deduced from fossils

    (LO2) On successful completion of this module, students will understand the spatial and temporal controls on biodiversity and corresponding patterns in the fossil record

    (LO3) On successful completion of this module, students will understand the interconnectedness of life with the climate, atmosphere and oceans

    (LO4) On successful completion of this module, students will have an appreciation of the key events in the evolution of life on Earth

    (S1) Information literacy online - finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

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

    (S3) 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

    (S4) Team (group) working - respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

    (S5) 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

    (S6) Problem solving/ critical thinking - creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S7) Communication - listening and questioning, respecting others, contributing to discussions

    (S8) Application of literacy - ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

    (S9) Application of numeracy - manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts

    (S10) Through data analysis and dicussion students will develop skills to analyse and criticise the methodology and conclusions in published work

  • Dynamics of Crust and Mantle (ENVS355)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To provide an overview of active tectonic processes that operate in the crust and mantle, with emphasis on high temperature phenomena in relation to mountain building and mantle convection (LO1-3)
    To show how an understanding of atomic scale and grain scale processes is essential for understanding large scale dynamics (LO3, S1-3)
    To introduce the techniques used to model and analyse those processes (S1-3)
    To explain how solid crystalline rocks can deform at elevated temperatures, and how their deformation history can be deduced from observation (LO3, S1)
    To describe how metamorphism relates to mountain building, and how the time evolution of pressure and temperature can be characterised (LO3, S1-3)
    To develop analytical skills, including quantitative methods (S1-3)

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and understanding of the structure and composition of the Earth

    (LO2) Understanding of the processes by which mantle flow, plate motions and related crustal tectonics control large-scale structures on the Earth’s surface.

    (LO3) Understanding of the processes responsible for the mineralogy, chemistry, isotopic signatures and microstructures of rocks on all scales from submicron to hundreds of kilometres

    (S1) Use of quantitative modelling and analysis techniques

    (S2) Use of methods for reconstruction and analysis of orogens

    (S3) The evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of diverse and perhaps ambiguous data using theoretical ideas from throughout the degree programme

Programme Year Four

Year 4 concentrates on the development of high-level research skills through training in research methods and completion of a major research project working within one of the departmental research groups. In this project you will choose the topic to be studied and will use state-of-the-art research equipment.

Fieldwork:

  • 8 day field course in Tenerife or 7 days in Northern Spain

Advanced Research Project:

  • Advanced Geological Project and Dissertation focused on one of the areas of current research in the Department e.g. Sedimentology, Rock Microstructures, Rock Deformation, Geochemistry, Volcanology, Palaeontology, Mineral Deposits.

Students take three compulsory modules and can choose four optional modules from the indicative list outlined below.

Year Four Compulsory Modules

  • Advanced Geology and Geology-physical Geography Project (ENVS405)
    LevelM
    Credit level45
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to train students, via personal practice under academic supervision, in the execution and presentation of research level geoscience.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding:

    On completion of this module students should:

    a. have gained a leading-edge knowledge of some areas of Geosciences

    b. know how to use different modes of scientific communication (journal manuscripts, conference presentations)

    (LO2) Intellectual abilities

    On completion of this module students should have developed the ability to execute a research level project

    (LO3) Practical skills

    On completion of this module students should have acquired subject based practical skills, which are varied, according to the project

    (LO4) General transferable skills: On completion of this module students should:

    a. be capable of executing good quality, ethical scientific practice

    b. be able to communicate effectively in a scientific manner using a range of media (manuscript, conference-style oral presentation, blog)

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Organisational skills

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) IT skills

    (S6) Leadership

    (S7) Ethical awareness

  • Current Issues in Earth Science (ENVS440)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to train students in high-level critical thinking, independent learning and the ability to effectively communicate scientific data with a variety of stakeholders (public versus company). We want to arm students with better analytical and communication skills, which are key to being effective in the workplace, academia and wider world. This will create graduates who can work in a broad range of jobs that require these skills.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding

    On successful completion of this module, students will have:

    gained an in-depth, research-level, knowledge and understanding of the topics chosen for group and individual study;

    learned how to read and understand material published in the highest level scientific literature.

    (LO2) Intellectual Abilities

    On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

    Independently research a topic of societal and scientific importance;

    Critically analyse data;

    Debate ethical issues surrounding geoscience topics.

    (LO3) Subject Based Practical Skills

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

    Oral presentations.

    High-level scientific writing.

    Consultancy report writing.

    (LO4) Communication skills

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

    Public (layman) communication of science issues;

    Professional consultancy (i.e. industry-facing) communication strategies.

    (S1) Communication skills

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

    Public-facing outreach communication strategies;

    Professional consultancy (i.e. industry-facing) communication strategies.

  • Research Methods (ENVS444)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
    Aims

    The module aims to train students in the following:

    scientific, journal-style writing;

    the initial development of a research problem and the definition, presentation and defence of a research proposal;

    practical use and application of a small number of lab-based analytical anad data-analytical techniques of broad relevance to the "Advanced Geology and Geology-Physical-Geography Project" module

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding

    On completion of this module, students should:

    have an understanding of the principles and guidelines under which scientific research is pursued and communicated;

    have an understanding of a number of analytical techniques and how they are applied to geoscience problems.

    (LO2) Intellectual Abilities

    On completion of this module, students should have developed the ability to;

    devise a strategy for the execution of a research project.

    (LO3) Subject Based Practical Skills

    None specific. Varies according to the project. And varies depending on which set of workshops (or analytical technqiues) that has been selected by student.

    (LO4) General Transferable Skills

    On completion of this module student should:

    be able to conduct a comprehensive yet selective literature search on a scientific topic;

    be able to prepare and defend a scientific research proposal;

    have gained insights into ethical behaviour in scientific research;

    have gained an appreciation of the use of complex scientific equipment and an understanding of accuracy, precision and sample and data handling.

    (S1) Organisational skills

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) IT skills

    (S4) International awareness

    (S5) Ethical awareness

    (S6) Leadership

Year Four Optional Modules

  • Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (ENVS538)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    One. To provide sound theoretical frameworks from and within which the strategies, methods and procedures used in engineering geology and hydrogeology can be developed and understood
    Two. To illustrate using selected topics key aspects of engineering geology and its applications in natural and built environments
    Three. To highlight the relationships between engineering geology and hydrogeology  
    Four. To illustrate, using a case study, the application of engineering geology and hydrogeology to the assessment of stability in a natural system

    Learning Outcomes

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

    (LO2) Describe, explain and evaluate the mechanical models of fracture and sliding

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

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

    (LO5) Explain and critically assess the mechanics that underpin selected stability criteria

    (LO6) Evaluate the validity of stability criteria and assess their reliability in a different situations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Teamwork

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Ethical awareness

  • Dynamics of Crust and Mantle (ENVS555)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To provide an overview of active tectonic processes that operate in the crust and mantle, with emphasis on high temperature phenomena in relation to mountain building and mantle convection (LO1-3)
    To show how an understanding of atomic scale and grain scale processes is essential for understanding large scale dynamics (LO3, S1-3)
    To introduce the techniques used to model and analyse those processes (S1-3)
    To explain how solid crystalline rocks can deform at elevated temperatures, and how their deformation history can be deduced from observation (LO3, S1)
    To describe how metamorphism relates to mountain building, and how the time evolution of pressure and temperature can be characterised (LO3, S1-3)
    To develop analytical skills, including quantitative methods (S1-3)
    To promote critical awareness of method limitations (S4)
    To promote understanding of how orogenic and mantle processes interact (S4)

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and understanding of the structure and composition of the Earth

    (LO2) Understanding of the processes by which mantle flow, plate motions and related crustal tectonics control large-scale structures on the Earth’s surface.

    (LO3) Understanding of the processes responsible for the mineralogy, chemistry, isotopic signatures and microstructures of rocks on all scales from submicron to hundreds of kilometres

    (S1) Use of quantitative modelling and analysis techniques

    (S2) Use of methods for reconstruction and analysis of orogens

    (S3) The evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of diverse and perhaps ambiguous data using theoretical ideas from throughout the degree programme

    (S4) Synthesis, and critical awareness of the limitations of, diverse information and methods

  • Mineral Resources (m) (ENVS526)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    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 research and synthesise large amounts of information into short seminar presentations and engage in a scientific dialogue during the seminars.

    (LO4) Successful students will be able to evaluate the sustainability of mineral resource development in terms of "peak minerals", environmental impact, economics and politics.

    (LO5) Successful students will be able to design an appropriate strategy for mineral exploration and use order of magnitude and dimensional analysis to quantify resource.

    (LO6) 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

  • Geoenergy (ENVS537)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to enable students to recognise different sedimentary basin types and determine how the formed.

    The module seeks to provide students with the ability to evaluate conventional petroleum reserves including an understanding of uncertainty.

    The module aims to train students in the collection and evaluation of industry standard data from subsurface core for the purposes of resource evaluation and the feasibility for geological carbon capture and storage.

    The module further seeks to develop skills in the synthesis, evaluation and reporting on a sedimentological, petrophysical and petrographic dataset from a real-world example, and use this knowledge to assess the economic viability of GeoEnergy systems.

    The module will equip students with high-level knowledge about the role and practical application of geoscience in the developing fields of geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of lithospheric mechanics and basin formation in different tectonic settings.

    (LO2) Demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of how to design and implement a workflow required to quantify GeoEnergy reserves and the associated uncertainty in reserve estimation.

    (LO3) Demonstrate an advanced level of ability to collect industry-standard sedimentological, petrophysical and petrological information and relate this to a specific case study.

    (LO4) Demonstrate an advanced level of data synthesis, data evaluation and data reporting to quantify financial return (economic viability) of a real-world, GeoEnergy systems, case study.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Teamwork

    (S4) Organisational skills

    (S5) Communication skills

    (S6) IT skills

    (S7) Leadership

    (S8) Ethical awareness

  • Applied Geology and Geohazards of the Canary Islands (ENVS575)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    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 (virtual 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 a poster

    (LO4) Critically review published literature

    (LO5) Critically review published literature to prepare a technical report to professional standards

    (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 Living, Evolving Earth (ENVS520)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting35:65
    Aims

    To introduce evolutionary theory and how fossils contribute to the study of evolution;
    To provide an overview of the most important events in the history of life on Earth and an understanding of stratigraphy;
    To demonstrate the interconnectedness of life and the environment through geological time;
    To develop skills in the interpretation and manipulation of palaeontological and related data, and the synthesis of data and literature in producing coherent scientific argument.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) On successful completion of this module, students will understand how evolution occurs and how evolutionary relationships can be deduced from fossils

    (LO2) On successful completion of this module, students will understand the spatial and temporal controls on biodiversity and corresponding patterns in the fossil record

    (LO3) On successful completion of this module, students will understand the interconnectedness of life with the climate, atmosphere and oceans

    (LO4) On successful completion of this module, students will have an appreciation of the key events in the evolution of life on Earth

    (S1) Information literacy online - finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

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

    (S3) 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

    (S4) Team (group) working - respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

    (S5) 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

    (S6) Problem solving/ critical thinking - creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

    (S7) Communication - listening and questioning, respecting others, contributing to discussions

    (S8) Application of literacy - ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

    (S9) Application of numeracy - manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts

    (S10) Through data analysis and discussion students will develop skills to analyse and criticise the methodology and conclusions in published work

  • Introduction to Quaternary Micropalaeontology (ENVS542)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module seeks to provide a deep and comprehensive understanding on methods and techniques used in micropalaeontology that will enable students to have an insight in a research field that is relevant for environmental sciences as well as geosciences, including biostratigraphy, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology and palaeoceanography.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Have an understanding at research level of biological proxies that are used to qualitatively and quantitatively reconstruct Quaternary environments

    (LO2) Be able to identify at a species level marine and terrestrial key microfossils

    (LO3) Understand principles of uniformitarianism and palaeoecology

    (LO4) Understand and apply principles of qualitative reconstructions of past conditions

    (LO5) Understand and apply principles of quantitativereconstructions of past conditions

    (LO6) Appreciate limitations of the biological proxies and the statistical analysis of their relationships with environmental conditions

    (S1) Numeracy

    (S2) research skills

    (S3) laboratory procedures

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) Teamwork

    (S6) Problem solving skills

    (S7) IT skills

    (S8) Organisational skills

  • Simulating Environmental Systems (ENVS597)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    This module aims to:

    Train students in the concepts and techniques required to construct and use numerical forward models of Earth surface systems using high-level programming languages such as Matlab and Python;

    Introduce students to the development and use of numerical forward models as an experimental tool that can be used to better understand and predict how Earth surface systems work;

    Teach students important transferable skills in coding, general numeracy, and data and model visualisation;

    Provide a broad overview of the range of numerical forward models in the environmental sciences, how they are applied, and why they are important.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding

    On successful completion of this module, students should understand:

    Concepts of basic algorithm construction in a high-level programming language, for example Matlab or Python;

    The concepts that underpin formulation and use of numerical forward models of Earth surface systems, including oceanographic and ecological models;

    How to use these numerical models to better understand how the represented real systems work.

    (LO2) Intellectual Abilities

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

    Translation of conceptual ideas and data on how Earth surface systems work into a representative numerical forward model;

    Creation and coding of simple algorithms;

    Design of simple model experiments to explore the likely behaviour of the real system.

    (LO3) Subject Based Practical Skills

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

    Basic modelling algorithm development and coding in an appropriate high-level programming language, for example Matlab or Python;

    Constructing simple numerical forward models of Earth surface systems including stratigraphic, geomorphic, geodynamic, oceanographic and ecological systems;

    Using simple numerical forward models of Earth surface systems to conduct numerical experiments to better understand how the represented real systems work.

    (LO4) General Transferable Skills

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

    Basic general algorithm development and coding in an appropriate high-level programming language, for example Matlab or Python.

    (S1) Communication skills

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Numeracy

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.