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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE1160 Computers and Programming in Geosciences

10 creditsClass Size: 26

Module manager: Dr Andy Nowacki

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

Year running 2020/21

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 an introduction to programming in Python and a brief look at the Linux operating system.This module is taught via combined lecture and practical classes and is assessed by two in-course assessments.


The module provides students with the skills necessary to design and implement short computer programs in order to analyze geophysical data and report the results of this analysis. It builds the key computational skills needed for further study of geophysics at Leeds. In addition, the module introduces geographical information systems used to create maps and show data on these maps.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Produce electronics map using the ArcGIS mapping software;
2. Navigate a file system using python or a UNIX shell, create and edit files in these systems and create scripts to automate data processing;.
3. Design and implement short computer programs in Python to process, analyse and display data;
4. Make use of the programming techniques to permit numerical computation.


1. ArcGIS

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


- file system navigation and management
- tools and shell scripts

3. Python

- variables and operators (logical, floating point and integer arithmetic, strings,
variable assignment, and data types)
- data structures (lists and dictionaries)
- numerical programming (matrices, arrays, numpy and scipy)
- procedural programming (conditional statements, iteration, and functions)
- data manipulation and visualisation (making graphs and maps, reading and
writing to files)
- debugging and defensive programming (exceptions, assertions, and the stack
- code and data encapsulation (functions, modules, and basic concepts of object
oriented programming)

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: 25/09/2020 14:59:33


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