Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Processes in Glacial Environments
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 8 x 2 Hour Lectures
Field Trip 2 x 8 Hour Field Trips


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Individual Fieldwork Report  2500 words   50%
Semester Assessment Public Engagement Documentary (Group)  10 minute video   25%
Semester Assessment Research Proposal (Group)  2000 words   25%
Supplementary Assessment Individual Fieldwork Report  2500 words   50%
Supplementary Assessment Individual Public Engagement Brochure  1250 words, in lieu of Public Engagement Documentary (Group)   25%
Supplementary Assessment Individual Research Proposal  1250 words, in lieu of Research Proposal (Group)  25%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Characterise fundamental glacier processes in contemporary and palaeo- environments.

2. Discuss the response of glaciers to former, present and future environmental change.

3. Discuss the relative strengths and weaknesses of the techniques employed in glaciological investigations, to evaluate glaciological research.

Brief description

In “Processes in Glacial Environments” students will explore the fundamental theories of glacier processes and their products in both contemporary and former glacial environments, supported by cutting-edge, research-led case studies. This module focuses on terrestrial glacier systems of Alpine, Arctic and high-mountainous environments such as the Andes and Himalaya, and is delivered through a variety of interactive lectures and field courses.


The module “Processes in Glacial Environments” covers:

Glacier composition and mass balance

Patterns and processes of glacier motion

Glacier hydrology and surface energy balance

Cold-region biogeochemistry

Surge-type glaciers

Hazards in glacial environments

Glacial geology, glacier landforms and glacier reconstruction

Glaciers in a changing climate.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will: Plan and carry out research, produce academically appropriate reports and a group research proposal to evaluate research methods and procedures in glaciology.
Communication Show awareness of own learning styles, personal preferences and needs, and barriers to learning: Students are to contribute to in-class discussions, take part in group-work activities, and in formative peer assessment activities to maximize their own learning.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will use a range of commonly used software packages, prepare and input data, manage and manipulate GIS, and present information and data effectively. Students will also use video-editing software.
Information Technology Students will: Identify factors which might influence potential solutions. Problem-solving skillsets developed during fieldwork activities, group work situations, and in laboratory and computer practicals.
Personal Development and Career planning 1. Academic Knowledge: Increase in geographical and geological knowledge and awareness of contemporary issues in glaciology and palaeoglaciology. 2. Practical Skills: Use of GIS computer software and fieldwork activities.
Problem solving Tackle problems involving number: Students will undertake numerical analysis for the fieldwork report.
Research skills Developed in all forms of assessment, and in-class learning. There are elements of academic and non-academic communication skills via written and oral assessment.
Subject Specific Skills Students will undertake formative and summative group work activities. They will also collect data in groups on fieldwork, and produce a group Public Engagement Documentary.
Team work Students will develop awareness of personal skills, beliefs and qualities in relation to course/career progression, benefitting from a variety of assessments and in-class activities. A range of transferable skills will be developed vocationally during this module.


This module is at CQFW Level 6