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Unit information: Independent development of geology skills I in 2015/16

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Unit name Independent development of geology skills I
Unit code EASC20028
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Jon Blundy
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of year 1 of the Geology degree programme curriculum.



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit enables students to acquire and develop practical skills with rocks samples, fossils, thin sections and geological maps 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 books and these will be handed in at the end of year as part of the coursework assessment. Further assessment is via a 3-hour practical exam at the end of year.

The unit aims to help you develop practical geological skills with an emphasis on independent learning. You will be expected to assign time in each of Weeks 1-19 to carrying out ten practical exercises. These are detailed in the course notes on Blackboard.

The practical skills developed will complement those acquired in field classes and during the formal practical components of other units. This unit builds upon the Rock Skills component of Geology 1 (EASC 10001).

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit you will:

  • Be adept at sketching, describing and documenting geological materials.
  • Be able to identify the major rock-forming minerals in hand specimen and thin section.
  • Be able to name a variety of common rocks and fossils
  • Be able to produce geological sketch maps and cross sections
  • Have maintained a practical lab book

Teaching Information


Assessment Information

3 hour practical exam (80%)

Coursework (20%) - two pieces of work worth 10% each, to be handed in at Christmas and at Easter.

Students must pass the coursework as well as the exam to gain credit points. The exam itself will be designed to 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 I notebook will be permitted in the exam.

Reading and References

Deer, Howie and Zussman, Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals, (DHZ)