Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Advanced Earth Materials
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Forensic geoscience assessment  20%
Semester Assessment Practical workbook completed during face to face practicals  80%
Supplementary Assessment Forensic geoscience assessment  20%
Supplementary Assessment Practical workbook completed during face to face practicals  80%

Learning Outcomes

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

Use the petrological microscope to identify the typical rock-forming minerals and use optical tests to determine mineral composition (where appropriate)

Demonstrate an understanding of how crystal structure affects the properties, formation, and evolution of minerals

Describe, classify, and interpret igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary Earth materials at both macro- and micro-scale

Outline the economic and societal value of Earth materials as resources

Brief description

This module will investigate a range of natural Earth materials and the practical techniques used to study them. You will develop advanced skills in rock and mineral analysis, description, identification, and interpretation, building on the material covered in the first year GS12520 An Introduction to Earth Materials course. We will explore the application of these skills in a variety of geoscience contexts, both professionally and with regards to formation and evolution of the Earth.


The module will draw on the following topics and techniques:

• Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks
• Crystallography
• Optical mineralogy
• Earth materials as resources
• Energy transition
• Forensic geoscience
• Geoscience for sustainable development

Practical exercises will provide opportunities to apply methods and concepts introduced in lectures to the analysis of real Earth materials. Students will have the opportunity to apply their geological knowledge to a mock crime scene investigation at the end of the course.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The practical element of the course will include a variety of numerical exercises which will improve the application of number skills.
Communication Oral and written communication skills will be developed throughout this course via group-working during practicals, written practical workbooks, and the final small group forensic geoscience exercise.
Improving own Learning and Performance Formative feedback will be provided on practical workbooks throughout the semesters to allow students to gauge their learning and, hopefully, improve their performance.
Information Technology The final forensic geoscience assessment on this module will require the use of presentation technology such as Powerpoint. A proportion of the marks awarded for the presentation will be based on the appropriate use of IT. The final written report will be expected to be presented in a word-processed, professional format suitable for submission to a legal team.
Personal Development and Career planning Using case studies will highlight the importance of the practical examples to problems and challenges students may face in their future employment. The final assessment will use a wide range of the practical skills from the course to solve a problem and will help to develop personal/interpersonal skills.
Problem solving The strong practical element of this course will develop problem solving skills such as using advanced techniques for the petrological microscope. The final assessed exercise for this module will consist of a ‘forensic geoscience problem’ in which small groups of students will be given a range of pieces of evidence to solve a forensic problem and collate a body of evidence to present to a (mock) legal team.
Research skills Throughout the course the students will research sources of information to support the taught element of the course. Specific reading/research topics will be set to enhance the examples used in lectures and practicals so that the students assemble a broader range of examples and case studies.
Subject Specific Skills This core module will develop vital subject specific skills and enhance the employability of graduates by learning and applying a range of practical techniques employed by professional geoscientists.
Team work Collaborative team-work and peer-learning in small groups will form and integral part of the practical and group forensic geoscience exercises. Students will be expected to play an active part in group activities.


This module is at CQFW Level 5