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118


Earth


Sciences (continued)


Second year students mapping in central Spain


Honours student conducting dissertation research in Argentina


Honours (3rd and 4th years) Study at Honours level is composed of core training and optional modules; this combination provides students with the key skills required in Geology and Environmental Geoscience and an ability to focus on a particular area of interest in Earth sciences. Honours module topics reflect the staff’s broad research base including the evolution of continental crust and life, the geodynamics of mountain belts, mineral geochemistry and physics, the geophysics and dynamics of non-marine and marine sedimentary systems, geoarchaeology and geoforensics.


The first Honours year provides in-depth training in essential field, laboratory and computing skills relevant to Earth sciences. The core material is presented as ‘hands-on’ modules giving students direct experience of state-of-the-art laboratory and field equipment and methods used to analyse natural materials. In addition, we provide training in how to statistically analyse and present scientific data. Field skills are further developed through independent field mapping and environmental assessment exercises through a variety of one- day and longer residential courses throughout Scotland.


The second Honours year enables Geology and Environmental Geoscience degree students to strengthen their critical thinking, and practical and problem-solving skills. The independent research dissertation is a key element of the final Honours year and involves both field and laboratory analyses and research presentations. Students broaden their knowledge by selecting optional modules from additional Earth science topics. Fourth year Geology field training is conducted in the European Alps.


Teaching Teaching is generally based on semester-length modules and hands-on practical experience is incorporated into all of the Earth Sciences modules. A mixture of continuous assessment and examinations measure performance. The degree balances skills-training modules that have a large laboratory and/or field content with subject-based modules that deepen and broaden theoretical knowledge. Many modules are specifically designed to develop problem-solving skills and to involve professional Earth scientists from industry. Field courses for Geology and Environmental Geoscience students are fully integrated with the degree programmes and, in recent years, residential field classes have been conducted in Scotland, England, Spain and the European Alps.


Throughout each degree programme, students are encouraged to develop literacy, numeracy, computing and presentation skills, as well as exercising critical, independent and creative thought and judgement.


Scholarships Irvine Bequest: Fieldwork expenses for students on Geology or Environmental Geoscience degrees are subsidised by this bequest. There are also awards at every level of study for students who have earned the highest marks in field courses.


Sedimentary rocks containing ice-rafted debris from a Snowball Earth glacial episode (about 630 million years ago)


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