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Unit information: Independent Development of Environmental Geoscience Skills I in 2014/15

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Independent Development of Environmental Geoscience Skills I
Unit code EASC20030
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Nick Teanby
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of year 1 of the Environmental Geoscience degree programme curriculum



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

In this course you will explore how to extract information from numerical data using rigorous numerical and mathematical methods, which you will implement using Matlab programming and plotting software. This software is a powerful tool that is used extensively throughout academia and industry.

The skills learnt will be very useful for project and practical work during your degree and for work in your later career. The programming skills acquired during this unit will build upon and extend those acquired in Computing for Earth Scientists (EASC10007).

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of the importance of measurement errors when analysing data.
  • An understanding of wide-ranging numerical data analysis techniques.
  • Ability to fit models to data.
  • Ability to program in Matlab.
  • Ability to plot data and model output using Matlab.

Teaching Information


Assessment Information

  • 2 x coursework at the end of each semester (60% of unit marks)
  • 2 hour exam at the end of the year (40% of unit marks)

Reading and References

There are many excellent textbooks on both Matlab programming and numerical methods in general. Choose one that suits your learning style. Some suggestions include:


  • Attaway. "Matlab: a practical approach to programming and problem solving". 2nd edition.
  • Hahn and Valentine. "Essential Matlab". 5th edition.

Reference texts (methods only):

  • Bevington and Robinson. "Data reduction and error analysis for the physical sciences". 3rd edition.
  • Press et al. "Numerical Recipes in Fortran 77". 3rd edition.