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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Earth Sciences


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Field Studies GEOL1051.


  • Geophysical Methods in Geology GEOL2081.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • GEOL2191 Fieldwork (Geological) and GEOL2201 Fieldwork (Environmental) .


  • To give students hands-on experience of some widely used geophysical field methods.
  • To prepare students for their Level 3 dissertation projects.


  • Planning, conducting and interpreting geophysical surveys, including site survey and field methods.
  • Appropriate planning and preparation for fieldwork with particular reference to fieldwork dissertation projects.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in geophysical survey methods.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in geophysical principles, terms, definitions and theory.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge of geophysical data analysis, modelling and interpretation methods.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Will be able to collect, record and analyse geophysical data using appropriate practical, numerical and computing techniques in the field and in the laboratory.
  • Will be able to conduct fieldwork in a safe, efficient and sensitive manner.
  • Will be able to conduct the planning and preparation necessary for independent fieldwork and related activities.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills necessary to plan, conduct and report on field projects.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills in order to apply geophysical principles and methodologies to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to observe, record accurately and account for observations.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to synthesise information/data from a variety of sources.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to analyse, evaluate/interpret geophysical data.
  • Will have acquired intellectual skills involved in the measurement and interpretation of geological structures and processes from geophysical field observations and other sources of information.
Key Skills:
  • Receive and respond to a variety of information sources.
  • Develop skills necessary for self-managed lifelong learning (including independent working and time management).
  • Develop an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered through flexible 3 hour sessions comprising lectures, field classes and lab-based practicals and a residential field course. This method is preferred as it provides "hands on" learning and experience of theory, field and related laboratory skills.
  • Summative assessment will be a combination of marks for notebooks, project reports and resulting data analysis.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 19 1 per week 1 hour 19
Tutorials 6 3 per term 1 hour 6
Practicals 19 1 per weekl 2 hour 38
Fieldwork 40
Preparation and Reading 97
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report 1 25%
Report 2 25%
Report 3 25%
Report 4 25%

Formative Assessment:

Feedback sessions during and following the practical classes and field excursions.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department.

If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our FAQ webpage. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the FAQ, or a query about the on-line Faculty Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.