Foundation of Structural Geology

Structural Geology Research Group
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You are introduced to key approaches to geographical enquiry, covering key concepts in spatial thinking, and quantitative and qualitative methods of enquiry. Through lectures and hands-on practical activities, the module outlines how we understand and visualise the world around us, from simple hand-drawn maps to an introduction to Geographical Information Systems.

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You then explore different ways in which geographers interpret the world, through both quantitative approaches, such as questionnaires, and qualitative approaches, such as interviews and participatory research. You also gain hands on experience in these techniques, learning to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and what each technique can tell us.

The measurement of large items in 3D space using various techniques and equipment are practised and associated errors examined. The subject will be introduced in lectures, the topic will be explored and your skills will be developed through a series of practical sessions.

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Assessment will be by written assignment and calculation and an end examination. You are introduced to the concept of fieldwork in physical geography, and develops skills used to plan fieldwork, collect data, and describe and understand what they have done. You develop your understanding of the linkage between global themes and local processes, by exploring how understanding the spatial and temporal nature of physical processes at the local scale can inform our understanding of our environment at different scales.

Fieldwork is focused on the landscapes and environments of the north of England, an area replete with opportunities to study past and present landscape evolution. You are introduced to geology as a scientific subject studying the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them.

It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet and how this has all changed over time.

Earth Observation and Geographical Information Systems. You are introduced to spatial thinking, and geospatial analysis and remote sensing using Geographical Information Systems GIS. You use computer-based practical exercises to guide you through the fundamentals of thinking about spatial problems, collecting relevant spatial data, and undertaking spatial analysis to explore and explain the spatial problems and phenomena which are fundamental to geographical analysis.

You also learn how to use industry standard approaches and software packages, including opensource packages, for managing, processing, analysing, and presenting data for different purposes and audiences. This module provides you with an introduction to the engineering characteristics of geological material and the formation of rocks and soils.

Foundation of Structural Geology

It provides a basic understanding of the use of rocks and soils in construction. You also explore the fundamental nature of the catastrophic processes that have shaped the earth and the environment we live in and the materials, such as the soils and rocks that we use. We look at cosmology and global catastrophes, the origin of the universe, dynamic earth and structure, life on earth and extinction, meteorite impacts, internal and external earth processes, plate tectonics, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and atmospheric circulation.

We explore common rock types, mode of formation and identification, the role of ground investigation in the measurement of geotechnical parameters and landslides and related phenomena. We use lectures, involving practical demonstrations, to outline the concepts and techniques augmented with class discussions of case studies.

You use tutorials and assignments to gain skills in applying the techniques to designs. During the tutorial sessions we can give additional help to direct your further study. At the end of the module you will have a working knowledge of soil and rocks how they are formed and how they impact on the stability of buildings. You will understand how earth processes affect civilisations. You gain an in depth knowledge of the description, classification, modes of occurrence and theories of origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks. This draws heavily on many disciplines including the physical sciences, maths, geophysics, geochemistry and structural geology.

You are introduced to fluvial and coastal processes, and the management of these dynamic environments. You are guided through understanding fluvial and coastal environments, developing your understanding of how landscape and local-scale processes can allow us to understand how environments behave and how they will change in the future.

You also explore historic and emerging approaches to environmental management, exploring our changing understanding of the interaction between people and physical environments. Lectures are supported where possible by contributions from visiting practitioners in different fields of management, as well as field-based visits where possible to explore local examples of the role of management in fluvial and coastal environments.

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops. You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed.

The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV. A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor.

These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures. You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline.

These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project. You gain an in depth knowledge of the description, classification, modes of occurrence and theories of origin of sedimentary rocks.

BSc (Hons) Geology (Including foundation year)

You are introduced to the concept of GIScience, expanding simple understanding of the use of Geographical Information Systems to ask questions about how and why we do geospatial analysis, and how this impacts on the results of our analyses. Using computer-based practicals, you learn advanced skills in geospatial analysis, including the use of spatial statistics, handling complex datasets using databases, and the automation of complex analysis using different tools, for example the Python programming language. You also learn skills in geovisualisation, including cartographic design, web mapping, and the use of 3D visualisation.


This module provides you with an understanding of the properties of water at rest and in motion. You investigate problems related to storing water in bulk and to its conveyance in known quantities through pipelines, rivers and open channels. You consider the natural water cycle hydrological cycle and how we have interacted with it to produce the hydrosocial cycle for our own use and benefit. Rainfall is a major component of the hydrological cycle. This module gives an insight into rainfall types, losses and runoff.

You also consider water and wastewater treatment. Module content is delivered through lectures supported by tutorial and laboratory sessions. The module is assessed by a technical report and exam. You cover the key concepts of reservoir rock and fluid properties. You also gain an in-depth understanding of reservoir fluid phase behavior and Pressure Volume Temperature PVT correlations.

Course details

You also explore rock typing and characterization and industry standard experimental techniques used for measuring reservoir rock and fluid properties. You bring together a range of practical and academic skills, developed in previous years of study, to interrogate a particular aspect of your field of study. You specialise in a particular area of science, supported by an appointed research supervisor who will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project. The poster contributes to your final project mark.

Throughout the project you are expected to maintain systematic and reliable records of your research which are reviewed on a regular basis by your supervisor and assessed at the end of the project. You submit your research in the style of a paper which could be submitted to an appropriate scientific journal related to your discipline. You undertake an overseas residential field course including field-based research design and implementation, and analysis and presentation of field-based data.

You develop professionalism and employability skills relevant to pertinent contemporary geographical, geological, environmental and ecological issues. The use of team work for problem-based and self-directed learning is central to this module. Appropriate context is fundamental to this. You gain an expertise in problem solving together with key skills such as interpersonal interactions, time management, budget management and research presentation.

You develop professionalism and employability skills relevant to pertinent environmental challenges. You gain an expertise in problem solving, together with key skills such as interpersonal interactions, time management, budget management and research presentation.

Foundations of Geology

You learn through a range of teaching and learning methods including: lectures tutorials seminars and workshops including oral presentations and poster sessions laboratory work computer laboratory-based sessions group projects research projects. Each programme and module is supported by a specific virtual learning environment VLE site.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.

Find out more about our disability services. Find out more about financial support Find out more about our course related costs. Any Level 3 subject is acceptable for entry to this course. English language and mathematics requirements Normally, evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4 is required.

Please contact our admissions staff for advice.

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The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement. Interviews You may be invited to attend an interview to help us reach an offer decision. Your interview session is designed to help you by giving you the opportunity to showcase your individual strengths and qualities that define your potential to succeed on your chosen course.

You may receive a more flexible offer following a good interview performance. It is important to us that you reach an informed decision on where to study so we make every effort to provide you with information, guidance and advice to help you make the right choice. The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice and year of study.

The focus of this Geology degree is hands-on learning, so you will gain practical skills that are supported by the study of theory. You will study six modules through the year. In the main, this will comprise of two hours of class or laboratory time per module per week.

There are 24 teaching weeks meaning that you will have, over the course of the year, 48 hours of class delivery per module. It is the expectation of the school that for every hour you have in a classroom you will undertake an additional hour of independent learning. Our students are assessed using a range of approaches depending on your module choice and year of study which could include laboratory and field reports of your own work, essays, oral presentations, posters, field notebooks, teamwork projects and examinations.

This Geology degree is accredited by The Geological Society. We pride ourselves on offering some of the most extensive fieldwork of any UK university Geology course, at locations in the UK and overseas, which currently include the Azores and Spain.

We have about 65 days of supervised fieldwork over the three years more if the Foundation Year is included , which exceeds the minimum of days required for professional accreditation by the Geological Society of London GSL. The course was professionally accredited by the GSL in Field work is an integral part of the Geology degree and offers exciting itineraries throughout the three years.

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