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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 Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to F644 Earth Sciences
Tied to FGC0 Natural Sciences


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To integrate disparate advanced-level geological concepts in the context of a field course.
  • To apply the students' acquired knowledge and understanding to the interpretation of field phenomena and to provide practice in team work and the in-situ explanation of field phenomena.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to experience the perspectives of scientists from outside the Department and to expose them to new environments - social and scientific.


  • The content of the module will vary according to the location but will include elements of the plate tectonic history of the area, palaeo-environments and stratigraphy, structural geology, hazards, magmatic evolution, geophysics and environment.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To reflect on concepts and principles learned at Levels 1 to 3 in a field context at a local, regional and global scale.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in geological, environmental, and geophysical principles, terms, definitions and classifications.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in the structure, composition and history of the Earth/geological timescales.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in ecological, biological and geochemical processes and their role in shaping the Earth.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in the structure and properties of Earth materials.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in the fossil record and the evolution of life.
  • Will have acquired subject knowledge and understanding in Earth???s natural resources and the techniques used to locate and exploit them.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to present a lucid description and interpretation of a field outcrop in a local and regional and global context to a small group, in the field.
  • To further practise the description and interpretation of geological phenomena.
  • To synthesise the geological evolution of a region using a variety of inter-disciplinary perspectives and approaches.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills necessary to plan, conduct and report on mix of laboratory and field projects.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills in order to apply geological 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 geological features in the laboratory and in the field.
  • 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 geological data.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills in citation and appropriate use of the literature.
Key Skills:
  • Receive and respond to a variety of information sources.
  • Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms.
  • Identify individual and collective goals and responsibilities.
  • Recognise and respect the views of other team members.
  • Evaluate performance.

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

  • The module will consist of a series of orientation lectures followed by an intense multi-day field excursion.
  • Staff will provide explanations.
  • In addition, peer teaching by small groups of students to other students, will take place.
  • Students will prepare for the course by research into a given aspect of the area to be visited.
  • They will be required to prepare handout material for other students and staff on key aspects of each area.
  • Students will be required to prepare discussions of specific scientific aspects of the geology to present on the outcrop.
  • Students will be assessed on aspects of their participation in discussions, group presentations and associated handouts, and a written scientific reflection.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 2 1 Hour 2
Fieldwork 8 8 Hours 64
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Continual Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Handout/Presentation 50%
Scientific reflection/Participation 50%

Formative Assessment:

Frequent checks on notebooks and discussion with students in the field.

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.