Geology (North America) MESci (Hons)

Key information


  • Course length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: F603
  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Typical offer: A-level : AAB / IB : 35 / BTEC : Not accepted
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.

Students take the six compulsory modules and choose two optional modules as outlined below.

Fieldwork involves:

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

Students take the six compulsory modules and choose two optional modules as outlined below.

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 use synthetic and real topographic and geological maps to teach a basic understanding of geological maps as representations of geometry and stratigraphy.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and Understanding

    On the successful completion of this module students 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.

    Recognising common geological map patterns and elements.

    Understanding geological map conventions

    Understanding that 3D geometry can be interpreted from map data.

    Stratigraphic concepts as applied to maps

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

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 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 level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting50:50
    Aims

    To address aspects of physical, chemical and biological processes of sedimentation in the context of the depositional settings in which they operate. To provide the necessary background for understanding the significance of structures and textures preserved in sedimentary rocks and the skills necessary to gather and analyse information that allows well constrained interpretations of depositional environments to be made in the rock record.

    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

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Organisational skills

  • 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

At a university in the United States, Canada or Australia. Current partners include: the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, McGill University in Montreal, Canada and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

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.

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

*Please note students study one of ENVS404, ENVS409, ENVS564 in Year 4.

Fieldwork:

  • 9 days in Tenerife (January) or 9 days in Northern Spain (Easter) or 7 days in Dorset (Easter)

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.

Year Four Compulsory Modules

  • Advanced Geology Project (f603) (ENVS407)
    LevelM
    Credit level60
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To train students, via personal practice under academic supervision, in the execution and presentation of research level geoscience, including independent field work to produce a geological map.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to describe the geology of an area based on independent geological mapping

    (LO2) Leading-edge knowledge of some areas of Geosciences.

    (LO3) Expertise in use of laboratory equipment and computing systems.

    (LO4) Delivery of good quality, ethical scientific practice in the completion of a research level project.

    (LO5) Ability to use different modes of scientific communication (journal manuscript, conference-style oral presentation, poster)

  • Research Methods (ENVS444)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting30:70
    Aims

    To train students in:

    scientific, journal-style writing;

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

    use of a small number of analytical techniques of broad relevance to Advanced Geology and Geology and Physical Geography Project

    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

  • Geodynamics Field Class (ENVS574)
    LevelM
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    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 rock textures and compositions that are supposed to register eclogite formation and subsequent return to Earth's surface. 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 research-level 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 research-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 orogensis. 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.

  • Applied Geology and Geohazards of the Canary Islands (ENVS575)
    LevelM
    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 a poster or oral presentation

    (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 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. The degree programmes are modular with a typical module involving two one-hour lectures, and a three-hour laboratory or computer-based practical each week. Tutorials involve groups of six to eight students meeting with a member of staff at least every two weeks in Years One and Two.

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. As you progress through your degree, you are increasingly challenged to engage with current debates, to think critically and to study independently.