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Department of Earth Sciences

Earth Science Freshers

Freshers' Banner 2015 - Welcome Freshers

Congratulations and Welcome

Congratulations on securing your place in the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University!

We very much look forward to welcoming you in October and to working with you over the coming three or four years. We pride ourselves on our excellence in research and teaching and we are all looking forward to you joining us in October. The Durham Earth Sciences community is a lively, friendly group of people including undergraduates, postgraduates, postdocs and staff, committed to the pursuit of knowledge in the Earth Sciences. You will be an integral part of life in the Department.

Online Enrolment

(Information on how to enrol online and log on to DUO)

Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme. You will receive two emails (24 hours apart - please check the account you supplied at the point of application) with your username and password for accessing University IT facilities.

The emails are sent out after your acceptance of your place at Durham has been processed. You will use these throughout your studies, but the first thing you should do is complete enrolment. This secure area is accessed by logging into Durham University Online (DUO), the University's networked learning environment.

You can access duo here - click on the "Banner Self Service" link once you have logged in successfully. You complete enrolment by confirming or updating your personal details and agreeing to the University's rules and regulations.
Completing Enrolment will give you access to your personal email address and access to view information from your department and college in duo.
If you enrol early enough, you will also have the opportunity to upload a photograph for your campus card (student ID card) which means you won't have to queue for a card upon arrival.

Module Enrolment

Module registration is a two stage process which includes:

  • Selection of modules
  • Approval of modules

The first stage is where you confirm your programme of study and choose your optional modules. The second stage of the process is where department(s) approve your choice of modules. More information on module registration can be found here.

If you are unsure about registration, there will be the opportunity to discuss module choice during Induction Week, on Tuesday 6th October.

Main University Induction Week Events - 2015

We have put together a schedule of activities which will take place from Wednesday 30th September for International students and from Monday 5th - Friday 9th October for home undergraduates.

Use the Online Induction Planner to plan your first week’s activities by College and Department

The Online Induction Planner has been designed to let you know where you need to be and when, according to your Department and College Induction activities and events.

Attendance of all of department-based activities is compulsory and we have tried to plan the week’s activities so that wherever possible they do not clash with any other college, university or sport commitment, many of which are repeated to allow you several opportunities to take part.

Pre-arrival Checklist

You should have received the following information prior to your arrival:

  • IT log-in details for DUO, so that you can regularly keep up to date with staff communication and select modules.
  • Fresher’s welcome pack: Welcome letter from Head of Department, Prof. Colin Macpherson.
  • Email from our Departmental Administrator, Janice Oakes on the module selection and allocation process.
  • Reading lists.

If you have not received any of this information, then please contact Janice Oakes, Learning and Teaching Administrator, 0191 334 2310,

Arthur Holmes Geological Society

The Arthur Holmes Geological Society is named after the first professor of Geology at Durham, who was a pioneer of radiometric dating. It is one of the largest departmental societies in Durham and is an integral part of every Earth Scientist’s time at the University. The AHGS, as it is often known, is a long established student run body at Durham University involving undergraduates, postgraduates and staff.

The society organises guest lectures, field trips and a range of other events to benefit members and enhance their experience at University. The guest lectures, which are held regularly throughout the year, are given by both those who work in academia and in industry. The events also allow chances for socialising. The society also tends to organise a much anticipated ball in second term. You may join the society at any time of year but there will be a talk during the departmental induction at the start of term and we will be present at the DSU fresher’s fair.

Additional Information

Meet your Departmental Advisor – Thursday 8th October, 09:00 - 12:00

In addition to your subject tutorials you will be allocated a Departmental Advisor. Your advisor will meet with you each term and be responsible for providing academic progress reviews and study advice throughout your degree. It is important that you meet regularly with your advisor so they are in a position to write references for you during and after your time in Durham.

Induction fieldtrip – Friday 9th October 08:30 - 17:30

Trip Leaders: Dr Jonny Imber and Prof Gillian Foulger

The fieldtrip will visit exposures of Carboniferous sedimentary rocks and the Permo-Carboniferous Whin Sill, near Bowlees in Teesdale.

The study area lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which was the first area in Britain to be awarded the UNESCO-endorsed status of European Geopark. The North Pennines have considerable economic importance for the lead-zine-barite-fluorite mineralization, much of which is associated with faults and veins that cut Carboniferous strata.

We will work in small groups and, at the outcrop, introduce you to:

  • the use of field observations to stimulate geoscientific discussion and research;
  • the importance of geoscience to understanding and exploiting natural resources;
  • the importance of three-dimensional and four-dimensional thinking in geosciences;
  • key topics you will study in more detail throughout your Level 1 course.

The Bus will collect at the top of the hill on the Science Site outside the Mountjoy building

For more information about the Earth Sciences degree programmes, please contact:

Mrs Janice Oakes
Learning and Teaching Administrator & Registration Coordinator
Department of Earth Sciences
Lower Mountjoy
Durham University
Tel: 0191 334 2310
Fax: 0191 334 2301


Dr James Baldini
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Earth Sciences
Lower Mountjoy Site
Durham University
Tel: 0191 334 2334
Fax: 0191 334 2301