Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
How to Build a Planet
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
DA11520 Welsh Medium equivalent
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework Portfolio  700 Words  50%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Multiple choice exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment Coursework Portfolio  700 Words  50%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Multiple choice exam  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Describe the shape and internal structure of the planet, and the techniques used to study our 3D Earth.

Demonstrate understanding of plate tectonics, including the nature of plate boundaries, mechanisms of movement, and associated geological hazards (volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami).

Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental processes of exchange between the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere including atmospheric and oceanic circulations and the hydrological cycle.

Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and controls of changes in climate at a variety of scales.

Brief description

This module will introduce students to global interactions between the solid and fluid components of the Earth system. It will explore the characteristics and driving mechanisms of the cycles of rock and water, and the circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, which are continually shaping this dynamic planet.The module aims to build an understanding of the geological processes that create the solid Earth and its surficial landscape, alongside the processes which generate and control weather and climate.
It will provide the basic framework for understanding and investigating the earth-atmosphere system, the dynamics of global change and its implications for life on earth.


The module will be in three parts:

1.The lithosphere: This section will explore the origin of the Earth and solar system and the shape and structure of our planet as well as the mechanisms of plate tectonics and associated hazards. It will also introduce the supercontinent cycle, and interactions between continents, climate and sea level on a geological timescale.

2.The atmosphere: This section will explore the basics of solar radiation, atmospheric energy and the global heat budget and interactions with key processes in the atmospheric portion of the hydrological cycle -evaporation, cloud formation and precipitation. It will also explore global atmospheric circulation and its influence on climate.

3.The hydrosphere: This section will explore the stores and pathways of the hydrological cycle, including ocean circulation, global runoff and groundwater as well as related water resource issues and the impact of environmental change.

This will be supported by active learning through related practical sessions which will develop skills in data handling, analysis and communication.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be required to handle numerical data as part of one assessment component.
Communication Students will be required to produce a report to communicate data analysis. Written and visual communication will therefore be developed in these activities.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will need to adapt to a more independent and self-directed learning style to complete the practical sessions. Practical assessment components will also require sharing resources with other students on the course, fostering team-working skills which will benefit their adaptability and resilience in future group-working and group-learning environments, as well as being valuable soft skills for their wider life and career beyond the university.
Information Technology Students will be required to present and interpret data for one assessment, and use digital software to complete these. These assessment activities will develop computer literacy. Further reading is an integral part of student-directed learning, which requires competence to find and engage with relevant sources online and through digital search engines in the library.
Personal Development and Career planning Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning - an informal mock exam will encourage this, but reflection will not be formally assessed. Data manipulation is a skill relevant to future careers. The ability to communicate using appropriate scientific language and work as part of a team are generic and transferable skills but will not be formally assessed.
Problem solving Students will develop problem solving skills through the hands-on active learning sessions including using a visualization website and downloading data for the first time. Students will need to decide how best to analyze and present geographical and geological data in these exercises, often through an iterative process of experimentation.
Research skills Students will be required to interpret environmental data for one of the practical sessions (short practical report) and also think critically about the best ways to present scientific/geographical data.
Subject Specific Skills This module will provide students with understanding of the key, fundamental processes and interactions associated with the geology and physical geography of the Earth. It will lay the foundation for studying earth science, surface process, geomorphology and hydrology in other modules at Part 1 and Part 2.
Team work Students will be able to work in small groups during practical sessions if they wish.


This module is at CQFW Level 4