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Unit information: Independent Development of Geology Skills in 2021/22

Unit name Independent Development of Geology Skills
Unit code EASC20046
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Riker
Open unit status Not open

Mandatory units in year 1 of a Geology degree programme at Bristol.



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit enables students to continue to acquire and develop practical skills with rocks samples, fossils, thin sections, geological maps, and related scientific literature and data via an open-access laboratory which students can visit at their convenience over the course of the year.

Observations will be recorded systematically in laboratory notebooks which will become a resource for review, revision and synthesis to support students in the summative exam.

Formative feedback will be given on the notebook during the year and additional formative feedback will be provided via a series of short online (Blackboard) quizzes that students can complete in their own time/order throughout each term.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit you will:

  • Be able to identify and name common rocks, minerals and fossils
  • Have insights into the geology of particular regions of outstanding geological interest via themed collections
  • Be able to reconstruct the geological history of an area from selected specimens, geologic maps, and/or related scientific literature and data
  • Be able to integrate and synthesize geological information from different sources
  • Understand the benefits gained by maintaining a well-organised practical laboratory notebook

Teaching Information

This is a learner-driven practical unit carried out in the lazborartiry with synchronous introductory and demonstrator-supported sessions. Students are supported through a series of synchronous online, but if possible face-to-face, weekly help and feedback sessions. 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

Practical exam (100%)

The exam will test different aspects of the unit, and will typically involve a variety of rocks, thin sections and geological maps. Only the course text, Deer, Howie & Zussman's introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals, and the student's IDoGS notebook will be permitted in the exam.


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. EASC20046).

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.