Earth Sciences [MEarthSci] Year 1

You will learn about the field of earth sciences, so that you are aware of the scope of the subject and its role in the exploitation and conservation of resources. We will introduce you to the laboratory and field skills necessary to take you through your degree.  We will provide you with a firm basis in quantitative science and introduce you to the range of IT facilities available here. If you are on the Planetary Science pathway then you can take modules in the Schools of Maths and Physics. 

Field courses to: Castleton and Devon

Year 1 Aims

Entrants to our various Earth Science degrees come from a wide variety of backgrounds and all have different needs. During Year 1 we aim to make sure that you have a firm basis in quantitative science and are able to use the IT facilities of the University. We also aim to provide an overall introduction to Earth Sciences, such you are aware of the scope of the subject and its role in the exploitation and conservation of resources. Field and laboratory practical skills necessary to the successful completion of the degree course are introduced.

Year 1 Learning Outcomes

By the end of Year 1 you will:

  • know the structure and composition of the Earth and other planets.
  • know the fundamentals of plate tectonics and how plate tectonics modified the global environment.
  • have learned the basic vocabulary of the description, classification and interpretation of the common rocks, minerals and fossils and be familiar with laboratory techniques for their study.
  • be familiar with the geological time-scale and how it is constructed.
  • be able to describe and analyse simple geological structures using maps and sections.
  • know the Earth’s major geological resources, their origin, extraction and conservation.
  • be able to evaluate data, construct basic numerical models and use them to understand physical processes.
  • be familiar with field techniques, especially the disciplined recording of geological information.
  • be competent in using a PC for word-processing, spread sheets and graphical presentations, and in using email and the Internet.
  • have learned the basic skills of report writing and oral presentation.


You must do all of the mandatory course units and two of the optional course units.

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