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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE1160 Computers and Programming in Geosciences

10 creditsClass Size: 26

Module manager: Dr Stephen Stackhouse

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

A/AS-level Maths, or equivalent

This module is mutually exclusive with

SOEE2240Computer Systems & Programming
SOEE5821MEnvironmental Modelling

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is designed to introduce students to the School of Earth and Environment computer system, mapping software and basic computer programming. It begins in the first semester with an overview of the ArcGIS mapping software. This is followed in the second semester by a brief look at the UNIX operating system, and a basic introduction to programming in MATLAB.


The module provides students with the skills necessary to design and implement short computer programs to analyze data and report the results.

On completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Produce electronics map using the ArcGIS mapping software
2. Navigate a UNIX environment
3. Use a UNIX based text editor
4. Design and implement shell scripts to process data
5. Design and implement short computer programs in MATLAB
6. Make a critical assessment of a computer program


1. ArcGIS

- creating a map base
- point data, geological data, processing 3D point data


- file system navigation and management
- tools and shell scripts


- matrix manipulation and plotting
- writing scripts and functions
- reading from and writing to files
- conditional statements and loops
- formatting output
- structured programming and debugging

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours59.00
Total Contact hours41.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students should spend time revising course material, completing coursework and practicing programming.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive oral feedback on their work from demonstrators and staff, in the practical sessions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course Assessmentmapping project: electronic map and interpretation30.00
In-course Assessmentprogramming assessments70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students who fail the module are required to re-sit the failed component.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 26/04/2017


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