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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG2024 Physical Geography Field Class

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Paul Morris

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces

GEOG2014 Field Project: The Dynamic Environment

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The emphasis of this module is on field research including training in field techniques and the formulation of hypotheses for research projects. The module will take place over Easter, with the possibility of an alternative summer trip, and will be residential (COVID-restrictions allowing, or discrete field days if not). The module is primarily assessed on work done in the field. The fieldwork will explore areas around the UK, or Europe (for example the Algarve/Alps) depending on restrictions in place. Subjects covered may include water quality and fluvial geomorphology, water resource management, rock slope stability, beach hydrology, vegetation and soil, geology, national park management, GIS and remote sensing. There will be three staff-led field days developing skills and introducing different environments. These skills will then be put into practice with students working in a small group to complete a project on a topic of their chocie. Groups will plan their research, collect field measurements, analyse and interpret their data, write a report on the results, and present these as part of the formal assessment.


On completion of this module students should have acquired:

1. an understanding of how to plan, collect, analyse and interpret field measurements of environmental phenomena for research in physical geography;
2. knowledge of the geology, landscapes and climates represented in the study areas, their impacts on (and interactions with) ecology, geochemistry, and geomorphological processes, and relevance to local issues of resources and conservation;
3. an understanding of how to carry out a project which fulfils a set of aims and objectives, and uses statistical and/or modelling methods learned in other modules

Learning outcomes
1. have developed an appreciation of the geology, soils, geomorphology, ecology, climate, geochemistry and resources in a region characterised by distinctive climatic, geological and ecological gradients;
2. be able to plan research projects involving field measurements, analysis and interpretation;
3. have applied their theoretical knowledge and skills in physical geography and statistical analysis and be able to use these effectively for independent research.

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in planning, collecting, analysing and interpreting field measurements to solve research problems in physical geography;
2. Apply statistical and other data-analysis methods to answer research questions;
3. Work effectively in small groups, contributing to a team effort to achieve specific goals within the time and resource constraints of a field environment;
4. Keep a record of where they have been, what they have done, what they have seen, and how this relates to the theories and methods which they have learned about in lectures, and appreciate the need to relate theory to field observations in order to develop a sound understanding of the landscape, its history, and the events and processes which shape it.


Field techniques:

1. Geomorphology (e.g. soil and slope processes, topographic survey, rock weathering)
2. Ecology (e.g. vegetation surveys, plant identification, measuring forest dynamics and biomass)
3. Geochemistry (e.g. soil- and water-chemistry, sampling, measurement, implications for ecology and environmental processes)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be provided with verbal formative feedback throughout the fieldwork.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectProject report (2500 words)50.00
PresentationGroup Presentation25.00
PracticalFieldnote book (individual)25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 05/05/2022


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