Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Planet Earth
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   On-line computer-marked multiple choice examination. Short on-line trial exam at mid-semester, compulsory, although marks not counted.  100%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Examination (100%) in the same on-line computer-marked multiple choice format.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On succesful completion of this module, students should demonstrate knowledge of:-

  • the origin and setting of planet Earth
  • the major minerals and rocks
  • the physical processes that shape Earth's surface
  • volcanoes, glaciers, groundwater, earthquakes and the oceans
  • the geological timescale, ice ages, fossils and the history of life
  • processes in Earth's interior
  • geological maps
  • resources and mankind's interaction with the planet


This module is designed primarily to introduce to those students who would otherwise do little or no earth science a basic understanding and appreciation of the physical aspects of our planet. However, it does also provide a general introduction for students beginning in Environmental Earth Science.


This module introduces our planet and how it works physically. It is aimed primarily at those students who will not be continuing in Earth Science. The emphasis throughout is on concepts and understanding of what you can see around you. Terminology is kept to a minimum. The course is especially suitable for students outside the Faculty of Science.

The first lectures introduce the setting of planet Earth and the ways in which we approach an understanding and appreciation of it. The chief kinds of minerals and rocks are explained, together with the physical processes that shape the Earth's surface. Other lectures cover such topics as volcanoes, glaciers, earthquakes, the oceans, and understanding the landscape. The state of Earth's energy and mineral resources is discussed, emphasising how we interact with our planet. It is made clear throughout how all this is explained through science.

The lectures are fully illustrated, using examples from all over the U.K. and around the world. The course will follow closely the textbook 'Understanding Earth'. Earlier editions of this book are also extremely suitable, although the 1st Edition has no CDROM. Any introductory text to the Earth, geology, etc. will also be helpful.

  1. The origins and setting of our planet.
  2. Minerals: the building blocks.
  3. Igneous rocks: underground melts and volcanoes.
  4. Sediments and sedimentary rocks.
  5. Metamorphic rocks: slow changes at depth.
  6. Earth's internal stresses: the deformation of rocks.
  7. Understanding Earth: is Science the best approach?
  8. Geological time: a long perspective.
  9. Fossils and the history of life.
  10. The geology of the U.K.
  11. Ice ages, past and present.
  12. Oceans.
  13. Groundwater.
  14. Earthquakes.
  15. Inside our planet.
  16. A bountiful planet: resources.
  17. A useful but finite planet: energy.
  18. A dangerous planet: geohazards.
  19. Earth portraits: geological maps.
  20. Planet Earth: the future


This module is at CQFW Level 4