Geology with Planetary Science [BSc] Year 1

Your first year of study is designed to introduce you to earth and planetary sciences. We welcome newcomers to this scientific field and we support all students to develop a firm foundation during this year with weekly tutorials. We also introduce you to fieldwork and laboratory skills and develop your mathematical ability to prepare you for study in subsequent years

Field courses to: Castleton and Devon

Year 1 Aims

During the First Year we aim to provide all students with an overall introduction to Earth Sciences, such that they are aware of the variety of minerals, rock types and resources. Field and laboratory practical skills are also introduced. Students on Geology with Planetary Science programmes require a firm basis in quantitative science and this is provided through courses run by the Maths and Chemistry Departments.

Year 1 Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Year 1 you will:

  • know the structure and composition of the Earth, the basics of plate tectonics and how plate tectonics processes modify the global environment.
  • know the broad outline of the development of modern ideas about the solar system through observational astronomy, missions and sample analysis.
  • be able to identify, and descriptively account for, the existence and evolution of the various bodies which make up the solar system.
  • have learned the basic vocabulary for the description, classification and interpretation of the common rocks and minerals 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.
  • demonstrate confidence in appropriate techniques of mathematics (involving complex numbers, functions, differential and integral calculus, differential equations, matrices).
  • be familiar with field techniques, especially the disciplined recording of geological information.
  • be competent to use a PC for word-processing, spread sheets, graphical presentation and for using e-mail and the Internet.


All of the course units are compulsory.

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