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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE1630 Field, GIS and Research Skills

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Vern Manville

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

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Sufficient qualifications to be admitted to any of the programmes to which this module is core content are assumed sufficient.

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Students will develop an understanding of how Earth scientists acquire, manage, analyse, synthesise, interpret and present typical forms of geological information from a range of sources including through primary fieldwork and use of the literature. They will develop a familiarity with relevant software, research skills, career pathways and professional practice.


1. Students will develop an understanding of how Earth scientists collect, manage, analyse, synthesise, interpret, and present different forms of geological information, including a range of basic data types and various published literature resources, and show competence in accurately citing sources of information.
2. Students will develop familiarity with scientific computing principles and applications using a range of appropriate software packages.
3. They will also acquire a practical understanding of basic fieldwork procedures, including health and safety issues and discipline-specific professional practices, through exposure to a range of geological materials and relationships in the field.
4. Students will also gain an awareness of potential career paths in the Earth Sciences, while evaluating their strengths and weaknesses as learners, and developing plans for professional and career progression.

Learning outcomes
By the conclusion of this module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an ability to locate and appraise relevant information on geological topics from a variety of resources, including the University library and online databases such as Scopus, Web of Science and GoogleScholar, and communicate their results in a range of formats.
2. Develop an understanding of simple statistical techniques and apply them to a range of qualitative and quantitative data types in order to assess their reliability, add interpretative value, and plan for more effective data acquisition in the field and laboratory.
3. Employ School and University computing resources and appropriate software packages in the collation, analysis and presentation of information.
4. Appreciate the importance of Geographic Information Systems in the management of geological data and be competent in the application of basic GIS workflows and tasks.
5. Recognise and describe professional work practices in field and laboratory settings, including aspects of health and safety, and formulate a plan of action for improving their own performance.
6. Identify a career plan and reflect on the skills, experience and knowledge required to implement it.

Skills outcomes
Geographical information systems
Professional practice under field conditions


1. Using library and Internet search tools to locate information. Researching a range of set and student-selected topics through the location, evaluation and synthesis of material.
2. Presentation of research findings in a range of formats including oral, poster and written forms.
3. Basic computer skills including file management and manipulation, word-processing, simple spreadsheets and graphical packages.
4. Theory and practice of basic statistical techniques in the Earth sciences using the R statistical package and related coding tools to analyse typical geological datasets (including univariate statistics, probability and hypothesis testing, temporal and spatial statistics and plotting of generic and discipline-specific graphs).
5. Theory and practice of geographical information systems using ArcGIS software, including geodatabase management and digitisation of typical geological data.
6. Overview of possible careers on completion of this degree; development of personalised career action plans, including skills audit and production of a CV.
7. Planning, writing and illustrating a synoptic field report based on the Keswick field class, including statistical analysis of data and its presentation within a GIS framework.
8. Developing an awareness of professional practice, including H&S issues, associated with the discipline.

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
Independent online learning hours23.50
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours76.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation of formative assessment exercises for academic tutorials. Students will be expected to undertake independent literature searches and apply knowledge gained to develop comprehensive answers to set exercises. Preparation of academic CV and skills audit and submission via VMock. Preparation of synoptic report based on the Keswick field trip, including statistical analysis and GIS presentation of data.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback is available through academic tutorials every two weeks throughout S1 and S2. Formatively assessed S1 exercises include: (i) 300 word review of tutor’s area of research; (ii) 750 word essay; (iii) 750 word essay; (iv) drafts of synoptic report. The students CV is also formatively assessed through VMock. Formatively assessed S2 exercises include: (i) annotated bibliography; (ii) oral presentation; (iii) poster presentation.

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
Essay750 word essay0.00
Essay750 word essay0.00
Essay2000 word essay25.00
ReportSynoptic report comprising integrated GIS/geostatistics/field geology report/ reflective log (see below)75.00
Literature ReviewReview of academic tutor’s area of research (300 words)0.00
Presentation10 minute PowerPoint presentation0.00
Presentation(Poster) A3 poster0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits of coursework will be undertaken in the same format as the original. For essays the individual academic tutor will set a new topic. Students unable to undertake the Keswick field class will be provided with sufficient data to be able to complete the (assessed) statistics and GIS components of the module, and appropriate hand specimens and outcrop photographs to satisfy other learning outcomes.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:25:47


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