Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Fieldwork Skills
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Only available to F640 students
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Field Trip 3 x 4 Hour Field Trips
Practical 3 x 2 Hour Practicals
Practical 5 x 2 Hour Practicals


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Graphical assessed practical exercise  Practical class-based mapping exercise (Sem 1)   10%
Semester Assessment Graphical assessed field-based exercise  Field-based mapping exercise (Sem 2)   30%
Semester Assessment Written assessed field notebook and short report  Daily field notebook & summary field report (2000 words) (Sem 2)   60%
Supplementary Assessment Graphical assessed practical exercise  Practical class-based mapping exercise. Students who fail to attend the field-class may be set an alternative mapping exercise.   10%
Supplementary Assessment Grapichal assessed field-based exercise  Field-based mapping exercise. Students who fail to attend the half day field courses can submit a report on the interpretation of a pre-provided geological map (700 words).   30%
Supplementary Assessment Written assessed field notebook and short report  Daily field notebook and summary field report (2000 words). Students who fail to attend the residential field course can submit a 2000 word alternative assessment.   60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Construct a basic geological map and understand how to represent geology in 2D

2. Classify and record major rock types and their key bounding relationships in 2D and 3D

3. Demonstrate proficiency in field, graphical, sampling and field note-taking skills

4. Demonstrate technical proficiency in the operation of field instruments, and evaluate the safety and logistical requirements of fieldwork planning

Brief description

This module is designed as an introduction to field techniques in Environmental Earth Science. It consists of 8 practical classes over the two semesters, 3 half-day field courses and a 7 day residential field course during the Easter vacation. The practical classes will introduce fundamental concepts for studying Environmental Earth Science in the field e.g. mapping, structural geology, sedimentary logging, and understanding geology in 3D. The half-day courses, normally held in central Wales, introduce a variety of field observation techniques, methods of recording data and good practice in keeping field notebooks. These field days will put into practice skills and concepts learnt in the practical classes, and provide opportunities to hone valuable skills before the residential

field course. The Easter course builds on the experience gained during the day trips and practical classes. During this course the rocks of the area are studied with visits to a wide range of localities, building up a picture of the regional geology. This is supplemented with visits to sites of extractive industries and other industrial sites such as power stations. The environmental impact of current and past industrial activities is also assessed. A report of the trip is subsequently written up using the observations recorded in the field.


This module will introduce the following themes:
  • Geological mapping
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structures in 2D and 3D
  • Sedimentary logging and clast analysis
  • Recording data in the field
  • Applied fieldwork

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Interpretation of numerical and graphical data is integral to Environmental Earth Science fieldwork. Students will be expected to record and interpret numerical data both in practical classes and the field.
Communication Practical classes and field days are inherently interactive, and students will be encouraged to communicate with each other through small group exercises in both instances. The module is designed to allow a high number of contact hours between staff and students to ensure development of strong communication, and ample opportunities for one-to-one and group discussions.
Improving own Learning and Performance This module is designed to build student skills gradually, with opportunities for formative and summative feedback incrementally throughout the two semesters. Students will have the opportunity to use skills learnt during practical classes in real-world examples in the field. During individual field days students will return to the same study site, building their level of understanding with new skills on each return trip. All of these skills underpin those developed during the residential field trip, enabling students to drive their own performance improvement throughout.
Information Technology During practical classes and field days satellite imagery will be available to aid geological map interpretation, and interactive mapping software will be utilized in the field. Students will be expected to use information technology to aid further reading.
Personal Development and Career planning Upon successful completion of this module students will have developed a range of practical field skills integral to any earth science/geology career path. They will develop basic cartography and map interpretation skills, understand how to survey an area to assess its geology and structure, and will apply these skills to industrial study sites on their residential field course.
Problem solving This module will develop a series of skills to enable students to interpret various rock types, their structure and distribution, how these are represented on geological maps, and how to record these data effectively. The module is designed to build these skills incrementally, in turn introducing simplified examples to explain the theoretical basis, applying this theory to real-world examples on individual field days, and using these field skills to underpin more independent study on the residential field trip. Their problem solving skills will therefore be developed incrementally using a variety of examples and applications.
Research skills The students will be introduced to new topics which will require additional research. Specific ‘further information’ questions will be set within each practical class to encourage use of research and information literacy skills.
Subject Specific Skills This module will develop a range of practical field skills including how to draw and interpret geological maps, how to record structural measurements in the field, sedimentary logging and stratigraphy, representing geology and geological structures in 2D and 3D, field sketching, and how to effectively record field data.
Team work Small group work will be an integral part of practical classes, individual field days and the residential field trip.


This module is at CQFW Level 4