Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5180M Research Seminars in Geophysics

10 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr John Elliott

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective


This module aims to develop scientific communication skills needed for MGeophysics studies, for job interviews, and for future careers, including the ability to summarise scientific literature for a non-technical audience, applications for jobs and interview techniques, and personal presentations. The focus is on student-led discussion and participation, highlighting transferable skills.

We aim also to give 4th year geophysicists a broad view of front-line research in geophysics using seminars provided by researchers from within the School and by distinguished external speakers. Students will gain experience presenting scientific arguments and learn to critically evaluate ideas and methodologies.

On completion of this module, students will have an overview of important areas of current progress in geophysics research. In particular, MGeophysics students will develop sufficient insight into current research questions, and the power and limitations of geophysical research methods, to be able to propose develop and propose a realistic research project that could be undertaken as part of a post-graduate research degree or in industry.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
- Critically assess the content of a scientific seminar and associated literature material, both in terms of the ideas presented and also an evaluation of the appropriateness of the methodologies applied.
- Appraise the current and recent science presented through preparing a literature review of the field to recognise the wider context in which a particular topic lies.
- Give a presentation succinctly summarising a scientific research topic to effectively communicate the science advance and illustrate the methods used. Lead a discussion with their peers evaluating the seminar and appraise the associated literature, articulating the scientific questions being put forward and methodologies used, and debate conflicting scientific hypotheses.
- Contribute towards verbal discussions, questioning the evidence presented, advocating for a particular viewpoint and persuading from differing standpoints.
- Summarise the research in written form, describing the scientific advance, integrating it into the wider context and presenting this in a coherent and logical manner with appropriate selection of illustrative material."
- Plan, pitch, and write a research proposal which not only describes a research area and integrates it with the wider field, but clearly identifies a research question and persuades by describing a novel route to discovering an answer to this question through a process of hypothesis testing."


Students will also attend research seminars in geophysics, generally provided by visiting distinguished researchers. The module convenor will lead a weekly discussion group which focuses on results and problems raised in the research seminars.

Students will write two essays of up to 1000 words summarising the research areas and develop a plan for a major research project as a written proposal (up to 2,500 words). Topics to be covered will vary between years but will include topics such as Earth's core and magnetic field, potential fields, earthquake seismology, tectonics, high temperature geochemistry, exploration methods, and physical volcanology. Towards the end of the year, students will plan, pitch, and write a longer research proposal which, as well as summarising a research area, will identify a clear research question and a route to discovering an answer to this question.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours64.00
Total Contact hours36.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- Reading scientific papers and preparing for seminars and discussion classes each week
- Writing essays on research topics.
- Preparation of a research proposal including writing and the preparation of a short “pitch”.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback to written essays. The firstAn initial essay will be used to provide formative feedback and will not contribute to the module assessment. An opportunity for peer-review and feedback will also be included during the preparation of one of thethe second of the summative essays. Immediate verbal feedback will be provided on the content of a short presentation of a research idea during the process of developing and writing the research proposal.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayTwo written essays on selected research topics (maximum of 1,000 words each)50.00
Research ProposalA proposal for future research (maximum of 2,500 words)50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits will be assessed in the form of a longer essay and related research proposal in a similar format to those of the first attempt but on a new subject that will be selected by the module leader. Further information is given in the module handbook.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:46:35


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019