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Department of Earth Sciences

Earth Science Freshers 2018

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

Enrolment opens eight weeks before the start of your programme. After your acceptance has been processed you will receive two email messages from which provide:

  • Your Computing and Information Services (CIS) username
  • How to derive your CIS password and guidance on how to access the system

The messages are sent 24 hours apart and are sent to the email address you provided when you applied so it’s important to let us know of any changes to this information.

After you have received both emails you will need to:

  • Change your password
  • Log into Durham University Online – duo
  • Choose the “Banner Self Service” link in duo under “External Tools”
  • Choose Registration and Enrolment
  • Enrol with the University
  • Upload a photograph for your campus card

You will receive information from the Learning and Teaching Administrator about registering for your programme and modules. You should follow the advice given about whether to complete registration for programmes and modules before you come to Durham, or whether to wait until you arrive before making final choices, so that your department can give you further advice and information.

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 2rd October 2018.

Main University Induction Week Events - 2018

We have put together a schedule of activities which will take place from Wednesday 26th September for International students and from Monday 1nd - Friday 5th 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 Dr Claire Horwell, Director of Undergraduate Studies, including information 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 4th 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 5th October 08:30 - 17:30

  • Trip Leaders: All Staff

    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 Claire Horwell
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Earth Sciences
Lower Mountjoy Site
Durham University
Tel: 0191 334 2253
Fax: 0191 334 2301