The Centre for Glaciology provides a range of independent undergraduate modules, and contributes to a number of other core and optional modules.
At level 1, students are introduced to the fundamentals of glacial and periglacial environments in Earth Surface Environments. At Level 2, Glacial Processes and Landforms provides a more detailed look into glacial environments and to the processes, landforms and sediments that occur in these areas. Students are introduced to the main types of glacial settings, and to the dominant landform- and sediment-forming processes that are found in these areas. Topics covered include glacier mass balance, glacier motion and velocity, glacier hydrology, glacial erosion and sedimentation, and an introduction to the glacial geomorphology of Wales. We also offer students the chance to develop their research and analytical skills in Sedimentary Environments and Physical Analysis of Natural Materials.
In Semester 2 of Level 2, students get the opportunity to explore glacial environments (past and present) on various residential fieldcourses to the Wicklow Mountains, Killarney and New Zealand (South Island), gaining 'hands on' experience in such locations. We also encourage and supervise independent research Dissertations/Projects of a glaciological nature that are carried through from Level 2 to Level 3.
At Level 3, we offer two modules: In Semester 1, Palaeoglaciology covers the processes and environments of the worlds former ice masses, from ice sheets to valley glaciers. Topics introduced include ancient glaciations and Snowball Earth, Quaternary glaciations, glacial geomorphology and glacial geology and an indepth look into the methods used in glacier reconstruction. In Semester 2, Process Glaciology provides a thorough training in the physical processes that govern ice mass behaviour, including relationships between ice masses and climate, glacier motion and processes of sediment incorporation, transport and deposition, the functioning of glaciers as hydrological systems as well as looking at the techniques employed in glaciological and glacial-sedimentological investigations.
University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) - Open to all 3rd year students
Each year, a handful of DGES students get the opportunity to spend Semester 1 of their 3rd year as an Erasmus student at UNIS. Successful students are offered the chance to study Pollution in the Arctic, Arctic Marine Geology, Arctic Hydrology and Climate Change and The Quaternary History of Svalbard, taught by experts based in Svalbard. Details of the Erasmus scheme are given to students each year, but more information can be found on the University's Erasmus page.