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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE2940 Applied Geosciences

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr. Chrysothemis Paraskevopoulou

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of L1 of the registered programme.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The Applied Geoscience module introduces the concept and practice of using surface and subsurface geological and geophysical knowledge to inform on a wide variety of topics and career paths for geoscientists. The taught component of the module will contain a mix of Engineering Geology, Hydrogeology, Environmental Science and Shallow Surface Geophysics covering both theory and practice. Throughout the module a topical case study/studies will link the different aspects of the syllabus and inform on how a geologist can become involved in Energy, Hydrogeology, Environmental Geology and Civil Engineering.


This module will highlight the importance of the applied geosciences in society. Whether it is building a bridge/tunnel or securing clean drinking water these tasks cannot be completed without an understanding of the behaviour and properties of the ground. The module will be application- rather than theory-steered and will introduce the range of tools available to the professional geoscientist to investigate and address problems, as well as how to report on the process and outcome.

Learning outcomes
1. Students should know the principal engineering properties of rocks and soils, how these are applied to civil engineering, and how to correctly word engineering descriptions.
2. Student should be able to contextualise geology and geomorphology in understanding the structure, properties and history of the ground.
3. Students should know which geophysical techniques can aid our understanding of the shallow sub-surface, and which techniques are most appropriate for engineering applications.
4. Students will be able to appraise and suggest potential methods for assessing and remediating contaminated land and groundwater, and propose methods for the sustainable use and protection of groundwater sources.
5. Students will have a broad knowledge of the legal and ethical responsibilities around the applied geosciences.


This module will be split into five, cross-cutting topics, each involving either 4 or 3 weeks of lectures/practical’s to include 5 – 6 lectures and 1 – 2 practicals in each block. The topics and indicative subjects covered within them will be as follows:
 Engineering Geology
 What is a soil and why are soils important, What is rock and why rocks are important
 Engineering Descriptions and properties of soils and rocks
 Quantitative Analysis of soils and rocks for design, present engineering examples
 Reading the past landscape and active processes from the present
 Hydrogeology
 The Hydrogeological Cycle – Precipitation, Evaporation, Groundwater flow and Storage, and Runoff
 Contaminated Land
 Ground/surface water contamination – (Active and Legacy)
 Ground water contamination
 Engineering Geophysics
 Shallow geophysical survey techniques
 Application/Appropriateness of shallow geophysical survey techniques
• Litigation
 UK/EU legislation Ensuring standards are met
 Obligations around environmental protection

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 hours20.00
Private study hours106.00
Total Contact hours74.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

There will be around 20 hours of independent online study required to obtain background information related to the largest component of the module assessment. The students will need to spend the rest of the specified private study time reading the recommended course and recent scientific literature as well as becoming well versed in the relevant professional standards.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Throughout the running of the module there will be fortnightly practicals, during which there will be formative feedback provided on the work undertaken. This will either involve feedback on work directly completed in the practical, or a discussion of work conducted prior to the practical in a flipped classroom approach.

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
Report3000 word development suitability report50.00
Group Project3000 word ground water analysis group report50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits for the module will consist of a single piece of course work using a similar format to the development suitability report, but with the specific inclusion of ground water data in order to address learning outcome 4.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:25:48


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