|Delivery length / details
|12 x 1 Hour Lectures
|6 x 2 Hour Practicals
|Assessment length / details
|Written assessed practical workbook Practical Workbook covering Practical exercises
|1.5 Hours Online examination 1.5 hour computer-based (online) unseen examination, designed through QuestionMark Perception (QMP). Questions will be varied, and will include short answer questions based around text, graphical, diagrammatic or numerical information
|Resit failed component - Written assessed practical workbook
|1.5 Hours Resit failed component - Online examination
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Outline the evolution of life on planet Earth on a geological time scale
2. Assess major palaeoclimatological, tectonic and extraterrestrial events that influenced the evolution of life
3. Identify and describe fossil specimens of flora and fauna from various periods of Earth’s history
This module will explore the evolution of life on planet Earth and its relationship to palaeoclimate change and major geological events. Module content will cover the Proterozoic evolution of the early atmosphere and the development of single-celled and multi-celled organisms, the rapid diversification of fauna and flora throughout the Palaeozoic, the reign and demise of the dinosaurs during the Mesozoic, and early hominid evolution. The module will discuss these developments in relation to global atmospheric changes, changing continental configurations, icehouse-greenhouse transitions and mass extinction events, and outline how these changes are recorded in the rock and fossil record.
1) Earth’s early atmosphere and the origin of life
2) Early Palaeozoic radiation
3) Late Palaeozoic diversification
4) Mesozoic marine life and dinosaurs
5) Mass extinctions: the big five
6) Cenozoic cooling and hominid evolution
7) The Anthropocene
These lecture themes will be accompanied by practical classes examining relevant fossil specimens and their morphological evolution over geological time.
|Application of Number
|Interpretation of numerical and graphical data integral to discussion of geological time and palaeoclimate changes will be covered in both the lecture and practical material.
|Students will be encouraged to communicate through question and answer sessions in the lectures, and encouraged to work within small groups during practical exercises, including sharing and discussing fossil specimens.
|Improving own Learning and Performance
|Formative feedback on practical workbooks will be given throughout the module, accompanied by specific in-course assessed exams, where students can use the feedback received and benchmark their performance. Formative exam-style questions will be introduced during the lectures so that students can assess their own learning progress against the exam expectations.
|Additional reading is integral to the module and alongside provision of reading lists, students will be expected to use information technology to search for relevant online or hard copy material.
|Personal Development and Career planning
|Upon successful completion of this module, students will have a solid background in Earth evolution, geochronology, palaeontology, and palaeoclimate change. These themes are integral to any earth science/geology career path, while understanding of palaeoclimate change is fundamental to understanding current climate change debates and associated job requirements in this growing field.
|The ability to recognize and interpret different fossil specimens will provide key problem solving skills within the fields of palaeontology, stratigraphy and sedimentology. Throughout both the lectures and practicals, students will need to interpret the significance of fossils in the context of the evolution of life, major geological events and palaeoclimate change.
|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
|The module will develop palaeontology, stratigraphy, geochronology and palaeoclimatology skills, and encourage students to understand how these fields interlink.
|Small group work will be an integral part of the practical classes.
This module is at CQFW Level 4