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Unit information: Geochemistry 1 in 2021/22

Unit name Geochemistry 1
Unit code EASC20043
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1B (weeks 7 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Tim Elliott
Open unit status Not open


School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of the unit is to develop key skills in Geochemistry. The main emphasis is in application of chemical equilibrium to natural scenarios to understand the distribution of elements and isotopes in the environment. The unit also provides a quantitative grounding in radiometric dating.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • perform simple chemical equilibrium calculations to predict concentrations of dissolved chemical components in aqueous solutions.
  • describe the geochemical controls on the compositions on natural waters
  • predict the fate of important environmental pollutants
  • explain the causes of stable isotopic fractionation and its applications in Earth Sciences
  • apply the principles of radiometric dating to calculate ages for simple scenarios
  • use isotopic measurements as tracers in the natural environment

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials and, if subsequently possible, synchronous face-to-face lectures
  • synchronous office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative activities and exercises
  • guided, structured reading
  • practical work in the laboratory

Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Information

End-of-unit timed open-book examination (100%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EASC20043).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.