Geophysics (Physics) BSc (Hons)

Key information


  • Course length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: F656
  • Year of entry: 2020
  • Typical offer: A-level : ABB / IB : 33 / BTEC : D*DD
earth-sci-1

Module details

Programme Year One

Students will take the compulsory modules detailed below.

Fieldwork:

1 day in North England (Autumn)

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.

  • Foundations of Modern Physics (PHYS104)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To introduce the theory of special relativity and its experimental proofs. To carry out calculations using relativity and visualise them. To introduce the concepts and the experimental foundations of quantum theory. To carry out simple calculations related to quantum mechanical problem tasks. To show the impact of relativity and quantum theory on contemporary science and society.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) An understanding why classical mechanics must have failed to describe the properties of light, the motion of objects with speeds close to the speed of light and the properties of microspopic systems.

    (LO2) A basic knowledge on the experimental and theoretical concepts which founded modern physics, i.e. that either relativity or quantum theory or both are needed to explain certain phenomena.

    (LO3) A knowledge of the postulates of special relativity.

    (LO4) An understanding of the concept of spacetime, of the relativity of length, time and velocity.

    (LO5) An ability to apply the Lorentz transformation and the concept of Lorentz invariance to simple cases

    (LO6) An ability to apply the equations of relativistic energy, momentum and rest mass.

    (LO7) An understanding of the Doppler effect for light and visualisation of relativistic effects.

    (LO8) An ability to solve problems based on special relativity.

    (LO9) An understanding why quantum theory is the conceptual framework to understand the microscopic properties of the universe.

    (LO10) An understanding of the quantum theory of light and the ability to apply the energy-momentum conservation for light, e.g. photo-electric effect, Compton effect.

    (LO11) An understanding of the structure of atoms and its experimental foundations.

    (LO12) An understanding of Bohr's theory of the atom and its application to the H-atom including the concept of principal quantum numbers.

    (LO13) An understanding of de Broglie waves and their statistical interpretation.

    (LO14) An ability to explain the experimental evidence of de Broglie waves with scattering experiments of electrons, X-rays and neutrons.

    (LO15) An understanding of the principles of quantum mechanical measurements and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

    (LO16) An understanding of the identity principle of microscopic particles and the basic idea of quantum (Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein) statistics.

    (LO17) A basic knowledge of contemporary applications of quantum theory and relativity, e.g. nuclear reactor and nuclear fissions, and the impact on our society.

    (S1) problem solving

  • Introduction to Computational Physics (PHYS105)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop the ability to break down physical problems into steps amenable to solution using algorithms To develop skills in using computers to perform and run algorithms To introduce techniques for analysing and presenting data To introduce elemenatry Monte Carlo techniques To introduce basic computer algebra To illustrate the insight into physics which can be obtained using computational methods

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to produce algorithms to solve simple physical problems.

    (LO2) Ability to program and use simple algorithms on a computer

    (LO3) Ability to analyse and present physical data

    (LO4) Ability to produce simple Monte Carlo models

    (LO5) Ability to carry out basic symbolic manipulations using a computer

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Communication skills

    (S3) IT skills

  • 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

  • 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

  • Mathematics for Physicists II (PHYS108)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To consolidate and extend the understanding of mathematics required for the physical sciences. To develop the student’s ability to apply the mathematical techniques developed in the module to the understanding of physical problems.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Ability to manipulate matrices with confidence and use matrix methods to solve simultaneous linear equations.

    (LO2) Familiarity with methods for solving first and second order differential equations in one variable.

    (LO3) A basic knowledge of vector algebra.

    (LO4) A basic understanding of Fourier series and transforms.

    (LO5) A basic understanding of series methods for the solution of differential equations

    (S1) Numeracy

    (S2) Problem solving skills

    (S3) Teamwork

  • Newtonian Dynamics (PHYS101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of classical mechanics at an elementary level. To provide an introduction to the study of fluids. To introduce the use of elementary vector algebra in the context of mechanics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the laws of classical mechanics

    (LO2) understand physical quantities with magnitudes, directions (where applicable), units and uncertainties

    (LO3) apply the laws of mechanics to statics, linear motion, motion in a plane, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion and gravitation.

    (LO4) Apply the laws of mechanics to unseen situations and solve problems.

    (LO5) Develop a knowledge and understanding of the analysis of linear and rotational motion

    (LO6) Develop a knowledge and understanding of the analysis of orbits, gravity, simple harmonic motion and fluid flow.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Analytic skills applied to situations.

  • Study Skills (geophysics (physics)) (ENVS106)
    Level1
    Credit level7.5
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To develop essential study and disciplinary skills required by Geophysics (Physics) students, complementing programming skills provided in PHYS105, 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.

    Learning Outcomes

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

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

    (LO3) Use IT tools to find accurate and up to date information, including University Library resources.

    (LO4) Develop employability skills through a CV and application letter exercise.

    (LO5) Develop ability to communicate science in a small group.

    (LO6) 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

  • Thermal Physics and Properties of Matter (PHYS102)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    The module aims to make the student familiar with
    • The concepts of Thermal Physics
    • The zeroth, first and second laws of Thermodynamics
    • Heat engines
    • The kinetic theory of gases
    • Entropy
    • The equation of state
    • Van der Waals equation
    • States of matter and state changes
    • Mechanical properties of solids
    • The basis of statistical mechanics

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Be able to link the microscopic view of a system to its macroscopic state variables

    (LO2) Be able to derive and use Maxwell's relations

    (LO3) Calculate the linear and volume thermal expansions of materials

    (LO4) Analyse the expected performance of heat engines, heat pumps and refrigerators

    (LO5) Calculate the heat flow into and work done by a system and how that is constrained by the first law of thermodynamics

    (LO7) Understand the PV and PT diagrams for materials and the phase transitions that occur when changing the state variables for materials

    (LO9) Use the theory of equipartition to relate the structure of molecules to the measured heat capacity

    (LO10) Relate the second law of thermodynamics to the operation of heat engines, heat pumps and refrigerators, particularly the Carnot engine

    (LO11) Understand the kinetic theory of gases and calculate properties of gases including the heat capacity and mean free path

    (LO12) Understand the basis of entropy and relate this to the second law of thermodynamics and calculate entropy changes

Programme Year Two

Students will take the compulsory modules detailed below.

Year Two Compulsory Modules

  • Condensed Matter Physics (PHYS202)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    The aims of this module are to introduce the most important and basic concepts in condensed matter physics relating to the different materials we commonly see in the world around us. Condensed matter physics is one of the most active areas of research in modern physics, whose scope is extremely broad. The ultimate aim of this module is to introduce its central ideas and methodology to the students.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will have the knowledge and skills to understand the basic concepts of bonding in solids, establish an understanding of electron configuration in atoms and in the condensed matter in terms of bonding, and relating them to band structure description.

    (LO2) Students will be able to understand how solid structures are described mathematically and how material properties can be predicted.

    (LO3) Students will be able to establish a foundation in basic crystallography, using Bragg's law, and understand the concept of the reciprocal lattice.

    (LO4) Students will understand basic transport properties, both electronic and thermal, in solids.

    (LO5) Students will understand the concept of electron and hole carrier statistics, effective masses and transport in intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors

    (LO6) Students will learn the basics of magnetism, the atomic origin and classical treatment of diamagnetism and paramagnetism, quantization of angular momentum and Hund's rule, and introduced to weak magnetism in solids.

    (LO7) Students will become familiar to the general language of condensed matter physics, key theories and concepts, ultimately enebling them to read and understand research papers.

  • Electromagnetism I (PHYS201)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of electrostatics, magnetostatics, electromagnetism, Maxwell's equations, and electromagnetic waves; to introduce differential vector analysis in the context of electromagnetism; to introduce circuit principles and analysis (EMF, Ohm's law, Kirchhoff's rules, RC and RLC circuits); to introduce the formulation fo Maxwell's equations in the presence of dielectric and magnetic materials; to develop the ability of students to apply Maxwell's equations to simple problems involving dielectric and magnetic materials; to develop the concepts of field theories in Physics using electromagnetism as an example; to introduce light as an electromagnetic wave.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate a good knowledge of the laws of electromagnetism and an understanding of the practical meaning of Maxwell's equations in integral and differential forms.

    (LO2) Apply differential vector analysis to electromagnetism.

    (LO3) Demonstrate simple knowledge and understanding of how the presence of matter affects electrostatics and magnetostatics, and the ability to solve simple problems in these situations.

    (LO4) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the laws are altered in the case of non-static electric and magnetic fields and the ability to solve simple problems in these situations.

    (S1) Problem solving skills.

    (S2) Analytic skills applied to the study of electromagnetic phenomena.

    (S3) Mathematical skills applied for the development of deep intuition on electromagnetic phenomena and to the study of physical systems.

  • Waves and Related Phenomena (PHYS258)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims
    • To build on material presented in year one modules.
    • To introduce the use of waves in a wide range of physics.
    • To give the student familiarity with interference and diffraction effects in many branches of physics.
    • To develop the student's practical and technical skills.
    • To give the student experience in making exact measurements using wave techniques.
    • To develop the student's ability to present complex information clearly and precisely.
    Learning Outcomes

    At the end of the module the student should have:

    • Familarity with waves and their analysis using the complex number notation.
    • Knowledge of interference and diffraction effects and their use in physical situations.
    • Understanding of impedance.
    • Acquired an introduction to the ideas of Fourier techniques.
    • Acquired an introduction to the basic princples of LASERs.
    • Improved practical and technical skills required for experimentation.
    • Improved skill at planning, executing and reporting on the results of an investigation.
  • Practical Astrophysics I (PHYS216)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    Setting up and calibrating equipment
    Become familiar with equipment used in later modules
    Taking reliable and reproducible data
    Develop understanding of various techniques of data gathering and analysis in modern astrophysics
    Calculating experimental results and their associated uncertainties
    Using computer software, including specific astrophysical software, to analyse data
    Writing a coherent account of the experimental procedure and conclusions
    Understanding physics in depth by performing specific experiments
    Developing practical, technical and computing skills required for later modules

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Improved practical skills and experience.

    (LO2) A detailed understanding of the fundamental physics and/or astrophysics behind the experiments.

    (LO3) Increased confidence in setting up and calibrating equipment.

    (LO4) Familiarity with IT package for calculating, displaying and presenting results

    (LO5) Familiarity with subject specific astrophysics data analysis software.

    (LO6) Enhanced ability to plan, execute and report the results of an investigation.

    (LO7) Knowledge of the methods employed in the detection and analysis of light at optical wavelengths from astrophysical sources

    (LO8) A clear understanding of the methods employed in astronomical photometry and spectroscopy.

    (LO9) Experience of the acquisition, reduction and analysis of astronomical data.

    (S1) Numeracy/computational skills - Confidence/competence in measuring and using numbers

    (S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

  • Geophysical Mathematics and Potential Theory (ENVS201)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting40:60
    Aims

    To provide mathematical training required for geophysical research, with a specific focus on:

    Mathematical methods, providing a bridge between Year One mathematics courses and geophysical applications in Year Three and Four.

    The application of these methods, with particular emphasis on applied potential theory (gravity and magnetic methods).

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge of mathematical methods appropriate for geophysical science.

    (LO2) Advanced knowledge and understanding of the concepts of gravity and magnetic field potentials, fundamental mathematical framework of potential field theory, and application to data manipulation and interpretation.

    (LO3) The ability to manipulate gravitational and magnetic data using potential field theory.

    (LO4) Report writing from practical exercise, involving synthesising and presenting key conclusions rather than a simple practical report - to mimic professional reporting.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Communication skills

    (S4) IT skills

    (S5) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

  • Newtonian Dynamics (PHYS101)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of classical mechanics at an elementary level. To provide an introduction to the study of fluids. To introduce the use of elementary vector algebra in the context of mechanics.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the laws of classical mechanics

    (LO2) understand physical quantities with magnitudes, directions (where applicable), units and uncertainties

    (LO3) apply the laws of mechanics to statics, linear motion, motion in a plane, rotational motion, simple harmonic motion and gravitation.

    (LO4) Apply the laws of mechanics to unseen situations and solve problems.

    (LO5) Develop a knowledge and understanding of the analysis of linear and rotational motion

    (LO6) Develop a knowledge and understanding of the analysis of orbits, gravity, simple harmonic motion and fluid flow.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Analytic skills applied to situations.

  • Quantum and Atomic Physics I (PHYS203)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To introduce students to the concepts of quantum theory. To show how Schrodinger's equation is applied to bound states (well potentials, harmonic oscillator, hydrogen atoms, multi-electron atoms) and particle flux (scattering) . To show how quantum ideas provide an understanding of atomic structure.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) At the end of the module the student should have an understanding of the reasons why microscopic systems require quantum description and statistical interpretation.

    (LO2) At the end of the module the student should have knowledge of the Schrodinger equation and how it is formulated to describe simple physical systems.

    (LO3) At the end of the module the student should have understanding of the basic technique of using Schrodinger's equation and ability to determine solutions in simple cases.

    (LO4) At the end of the module the student should have understanding of how orbital angular momentum is described in quantum mechanics and why there is a need for spin.

    (LO5) At the end of the module the student should have understanding how the formalism of quantum mechanics describes the structure of atomic hydrogen and, schematically, how more complex atoms are described.

  • Seismology and Computing (ENVS229)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    Understanding fundamentals of theoretical and observational seismology;
    Familiarization with basic MATLAB programming;
    Understanding of and ability to analyse various seismological data sets.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1)   1. Knowledge and Understanding   On successful completion of this module students should have knowledge of and understand fundamentals of seismology and its applications, and should have some familiarity in programming in Matlab.

    (LO2)  2. Subject Based Practical Skills  On successful completion of this module, students should be able toa) apply theory and methods to seismological data, analyse seismological data.b) Programme in MATLAB

    (LO3) On successful completion of this module, students should have developed their skills in:a) communication (written)b) numeracy through practicals and homeworkc) teamwork in practicalsd) IT literacy, including programming skills, through practicalse) time management through practicals and homework

    (S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

    (S3) Time and project management - Personal organisation

  • Wave Phenomena (PHYS103)
    Level1
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To introduce the fundamental concepts and principles of wave phenomena. To highlight the many diverse areas of physics in which an understanding of waves is crucial. To introduce the concepts of interference and diffraction.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate an understanding of oscillators.

    (LO2) Understand the fundamental principles underlying wave phenomena.

    (LO4) Understand wave reflection and transmission, superposition of waves.

    (LO5) Solve problems on the behaviour of electromagnetic waves in vacuo and in dielectric materials.

    (LO6) Understand linear and circular polarisation.

    (LO7) Understand inteference and diffraction effects.

    (LO8) Understand lenses and optical instruments.

    (LO9) Apply Fourier techniques and understand their link to diffraction patterns.

    (LO10) Understand the basic principles of lasers

    (S1) Problem solving

Programme Year Three

Students will take the following compulsory modules and choose two of the optional modules detailed below.

Fieldwork:

14 days in Tenerife (winter)

Year Three Compulsory Modules

  • Exploration Geophysics and Signal Processing (ENVS343)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To provide an understanding of the theory and fundamental principles of signal processing;

    To provide an understanding of the principal signal processing techniques and their applications to seismic reflection, refraction and passive seismological time series;

    To gain familiarity with an industry standard reflection seismic processing package and the underlying work flows.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) To be able to apply signal processingtechniques to problems in reflection, refraction, and passive seismology.

    (LO2) To identify problems inseismic processing which can be solved by signal processing techniques andevaluate the uncertainties in processed seismic sections.

    (LO3) To be able to use a compuer based seismic processing system and understand the fundamentals of a seismic processing work flow.

    (LO4) To be able to develop signal processing routines in MATLAB and graphical cimmunicate the results.

    (LO5) To gain an understanding of the principle theory and routines of signal processing.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) IT skills

    (S3) Numeracy

    (S4) Communication skills

  • Geophysical Exploration Techniques (ENVS362)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide, for geophysics  students, an understanding of:

    One. The application of geophysical theory to exploration and engineering targets.

    Two. Practical use and evaluation of geophysical instrumentation, data acquisition, processing and interpretation.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) To develop knowledge of the response of geophysical instruments to a variety of targets.

    (LO2) To understand the physical principles, limitations and errors associated with geophysical data aquisition.

    (LO3) To synthesise and interpret multiple complex geophysical data sets within the appropriate geological context.

    (LO4) Develop problem solving skills analogous to working for a major exploration company or geophysical engineering company/consultancy, including planning, logistics, budgeting time and expenditure.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Teamwork

    (S3) Communication skills

    (S4) Adaptability

    (S5) Operation of Geophysical equipment

    (S6) Use of professional grade geophysical software

  • Geophysical Project (ENVS300)
    Level3
    Credit level30
    SemesterWhole Session
    Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
    Aims

    To provide a research level training in a specific geophysical subject area;
    To develop the student's ability to work independently;
    To develop skills in presenting data and ideas visually, verbally and in written form.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Demonstrate an ability to followthe research literature to maintain knowledge of the specific field.

    (LO2) Demonstrate the ability to acquire,analyse and evaluate the significance of data in relation to an independentresearch project.

    (LO3) Demonstrate the ability to develop and test hypotheses.

    (LO4) Demonstrate a high-level knowledge of a specific field of Geophysics.

    (LO5) Demonstrate competence in audio-visual presentation through formalpresentations/talks

    (LO6) Demonstrate competance in the organisation and writing of word-processed scientificreports.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Teamwork

    (S4) Communication skills

    (S5) IT skills

Year Three Optional Modules

  • Advanced Geodynamics (ENVS398)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    To impart an advanced understanding of lithospheric-scale active tectonics, and the ability to carry out mathematical calculations to understand and analyse tectonic processes;

    To introduce the students to advanced topics and research frontiers in core/mantle dynamics and evolution;

    To improve MATLAB/python programming skills initially acquired in ENVS229;

    To develop skills appropriate to understanding, synthesising and communicating peer-reviewed research literature.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Describe and explain principles and details of active tectonic processes

    (LO2) Apply mathematical methods to describe tectonic processes

    (LO3) Describe and explain current theories and controversies regarding the dynamics of Earth from its surface to core and the methods used to study these topics.

    (S1) Numeracy

    (S2) Critical analysis and synthesis

    (S3) Programming

    (S4) Communication – written & oral

  • Fundamentals of Applied Earthquake and Volcano Seismology (ENVS388)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To provide the students with:

    - A thorough understanding of the challenges and practices in collecting and analyzing Geophysical time series

    - Knowledge of the wide variety of earthquake signals that occur in nature, including volcanic seismic sources and non-volcanic tremors

    - Knowledge of the structure of the Earth in tectonically active regions, and volcanic and geothermal areas.Understanding of the methods to infer the Earth’s structure using seismic data.

    - Understanding the temporal and spatial evolution of seismicity before, during, and after large earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Outline knowledge of the use of this information in early warning and hazard mitigation schemes.

    - Knowledge of mechanical models for earthquake and volcano deformation,and their validation using geophysical observations

    - Understanding of surface volcanic processes (pyroclastic density currents and ash plumes) by means of geophysical data analyses and numerical modeling

    - Understanding tsunami generation and the use of earthquake data in tsunami early warning.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) 1.Knowledge and Understanding  After successful completion of thismodule the students will be able to:understand and discuss the fundamentalsof the theory of elasticity and seismic wave propagationappreciate the approximations made indescribing seismic sourcesunderstand the fundamentals of deterministic and probabilistic seismic hazardassessmentunderstand volcanic processes and their seismic/geophysical signaturebe familiar with earthquake and volcano monitoring practicebe able to use seismic and other geophysical data to evaluate volcanicunrest and produce eruption forecastsbe able to perform computer-based statistical analyses of seismic data

    (LO2) 2. Intellectual Abilities  On successful completion of this module,students should have developed their skills in:communication (written and verbal)numeracy through practicals and assessmentteamwork in practicals/group presentationsIT literacy, including programming skills, through practicalstime management through practicals and homework

    (LO3) 3. Subject Based Practical Skills     On completion of this module, students should have developed competence in: Manipulation, reduction and interpretation of geophysical data. Modeling of various geophysical processes using computer software packages.  

    (LO4) 4. General transferrable skillsNumeracyGraphical presentationWord processing softwareComputer literacy

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

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

    (S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

    (S4) Working in groups and teams - Time management

  • Geophysical Data Modelling (ENVS386)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting60:40
    Aims

    Ability to create geophysical models from data. Practical experience in inversion of mathematically linear problems, with knowledge of how to approach more general nonlinear problems.

    Understanding of the limitations of such models, and how they should be interpreted, with particular reference to model non-uniqueness and instability. Optimisation theory, and its application to interpretation of geophysical models. Time series analysis with non-Fourier methods.

    Understanding of basic statistics, confidence.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Knowledge and understanding of:a) Eigenvalue analysis and its application to data analysis b) Implications of model existence, uniqueness for interpretation. c) Basic statistics, including confidence testing, central limit theory

    (LO2) Interpretation of statistical results and Geophysical modelling of real data sets

    (LO3) Ability to invert a large data set to give a geophysical model

    (LO4) Programming skills, in particular the ability to work in a unix/linux environment with shell programming.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

    (S3) Communication skills

    (S4) IT skills

  • Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS204)
    Level2
    Credit level15
    SemesterSecond Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To introduce Rutherford and related scattering; to introduce nuclear size, mass and decay modes; to provide some applications and examples of nuclear physics; to introduce particle physics, including interactions, reactions and decay; to show some recent experimental discoveries; to introduce relativistic 4-vectors for applications to collision problems.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) basic understanding of Rutherford, electron on neutron scattering

    (LO2) understanding of the basic principles that determine nuclear size, mass and decay modes

    (LO3) knowledge of examples and applications of nuclear physics

    (LO4) knowledge of elementary particles and their interactions

    (LO5) basic understanding of relativistic 4-vectors

  • Ocean Dynamics (ENVS332)
    Level3
    Credit level15
    SemesterFirst Semester
    Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
    Aims

    To gain a high level understanding of ocean and atmospheric dynamics:

    To understand the background state of the atmosphere and ocean;

    To address how tracers spread;

    To understand the effects of rotation and how jets and eddies form on a rotating planet;

    To understand how waves influence and interact with the ocean circulation;

    To understand why there are western boundary currents and gyres in ocean basins;

    To understand how topography shapes the deep ocean circulation over the globe.

    Learning Outcomes

    (LO1) Students will acquire knowledge of key concepts in ocean and atmosphere dynamics.

    (LO2) Students will learn to appreciate the approximate nature of theoretical ideas, and the strengths and weaknesses of such ideas as explanations of observed phenomena.

    (LO3) Students will develop mathematical skills in scale analysis of differential equations to isolate the essential phenomena.

    (LO4) Students will acquire experience in combining quantitative and qualitative understanding of dynamics to give clear explanations of observed phenomena in the ocean and atmosphere.

    (LO5) Students will develop an understanding of the factors controllng fluid flows on a range of rotating planets.

    (S1) Problem solving skills

    (S2) Numeracy

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

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

    Learning Outcomes

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

    (LO2) Have an understanding of the Widening Participation Agenda

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (LO9) Have experience of team working

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (S6) Time and project management - Project planning

    (S7) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

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

    (S9) Global citizenship - Understanding of equality and diversity

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

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.