Fieldwork in South Devon

Unit code EART10012

Our South Devon field course gives you an unrivalled insight into the geology that has shaped our Earth while experiencing some of England’s most striking landscapes
  • When is the fieldtrip?

    The field trip is for 8 days during the Easter vacation in Year 1. Six days are spent in the field and there is a half-day off during the week.

    Fieldwork will be from 9am to 5pm each day. Evenings are spent either completing maps, logs and notebooks or involve in help sessions and one-to-one feedback with staff.

  • Where is the fieldtrip?

    You will be staying at Landscove Holiday Park, Gillard Road, Berryhead, Brixham, Devon TQ5 9EP. 

    Accommodation is in self-catering units. All have a kitchen with a cooker, refrigerator, kettle, microwave, crockery, cutlery, etc. Bed linen and duvets are provided, but a sleeping bag may be useful if you tend to feel the cold. There are a convenience store, restaurant, bar and takeaway on the site and we will stop at a supermarket every few days.

    We will also visit a clay quarry operated by WBC minerals.

  • How will we travel to South Devon?

    Travel to and from Devon will be by coach. Further details will be provided closer to the time of the trip.

  • Devon 2017
  • What will I learn?

    You will be taught basic geological skills and trained in:

    • observation of rock characteristics, measurement and recording skills;
    • record keeping and maintenance of a field notebook;
    • use of compass-clinometer and GPS;
    • graphic logging and mapping skills.  ‌  

    By the end of the course you will be able to:

    • recognise main rock types and fossils;
    • keep a well-organised field notebook with sketches;
    • record characteristics such as lithology, fault and fold geometry;
    • use a compass-clinometer and graphical logging methods;
    • identify and interpret sedimentary processes for way-up, current/wind directions, etc;
    • make a graphic log and a field map.


  • What equipment will I need?

    Essential field course items are:

    • appropriate footwear (i.e. walking boots);
    • walking trousers or shorts;
    • rucksack;
    • compass-clinometer;
    • hand lens;
    • high visability vest;
    • hard hat;
    • field notebook;
    • mapping pens;
    • a hard pencil (i.e. 2H) and crayons;
    • grain size card;
    • warm clothing and/or waterproofs may be necessary, depending on the weather;
    • you may also find a pocket knife useful.
  • How will the field course be assessed?

    Assessment is based upon the following:

    • notebook [40%];
    • field map [30%];
    • individual participation [10%];
    • clastic log [10%];
    • limestone log [10%]
  • Who can I contact regarding the South Devon field course?

    For more information visit the course unit specification or email course leaders Professor Ray Burgess or Mrs Mandy Edwards.

  • What our students say

    Sam Green

    "Field trips were always great. Getting outdoors and actually seeing the rocks in a natural environment can re-affirm what you learned in a lecture. It's a great way to learn."

    Did you know?

    Devon has given its name to the Devonian Period, which was proposed by Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison in 1839. The oldest rocks we will see on the trip are of this age.

    More about Devon

    Devon was located on the edge of a marine basin during the Devonian. Because the basin was subsiding, the water deepened as the Devonian progressed, giving rise to deeper water siltstones and limestones. Reefs, potentially associated with volcanic islands, were home to corals and brachiopods, which are now fossilized in these limestones.

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