Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Fieldwork Skills
Academic Year
Semester 2
Registration on F640 and F750.
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Field notebook and associated field exercises  Written assessed field notebook and short report (2000 words)  40%
Semester Assessment Summary field report  (2000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment An alternative form of assessment (2000 word alternative assessment using appropriate field data provided by the module coordinators and focusing on technique description) is only available to students who are unable to participate in fieldwork, as a result of extenuating personal and/or medical issues that have been corroborated by an independent and appropriately qualified professional.  Students who attend the field course but fail the assessment will be given the opportunity to resubmit failed components.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

​1. Demonstrate proficiency in the field, graphical, sampling and field note-taking skills.

2. Demonstrate technical proficiency in the operation of field instruments, and evaluate the safety and logistical requirements of fieldwork planning.

3. Assess geological and ecological aspects of the environment.

4. Understand linkages between human activity and environmental impact.​

Brief description

This module is designed as an introduction to field techniques in Environmental Earth Science and Environmental Science. It consists of a residential field course during the Easter vacation.

During this course themes of earth and environmental sciences are considered via visits to a range of natural and industrial / post-industrial localities. Geological and environmental conditions are studied with visits to a wide range of localities, building up a picture of the regional geology and the environment. Visits to sites of extractive mining industries and other industrial sites such as power stations are undertaken and the environmental impact of current and past industrial activities is assessed. A report of the field trip is subsequently written up using observations recorded in the field. The module aims are to develop field skills in Environmental Earth Science and Environmental Science, specifically field data collection, field data analysis, field notebook skills, field report writing.​


​The topics covered in any particular year may vary slightly depending on staffing arrangements, but will normally include the following themes:

- Recording data in the field
- Applied fieldwork
​- Links between, geology, environment and anthropogenic activities

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Interpretation of numerical and graphical data is integral to Earth and Environmental Science fieldwork. Students will be expected to record and interpret numerical data both in the field and as part of the follow-up assessed field report.
Communication Field days are inherently interactive, and students will be encouraged to communicate with each other through small group exercises. The field trip ensures a high number of contact hours between staff and students to enable development of strong communication, and ample opportunities for one-to-one and group discussions.
Improving own Learning and Performance This field trip is designed to build student skills gradually, with opportunities for formative feedback throughout the week. This will enable students to drive their own performance improvement throughout.
Information Technology During field days satellite imagery will be available to aid mapping and interpretation. Students will be expected to use information technology to aid further reading.
Personal Development and Career planning Upon successful completion of this module students will have developed a range of practical field skills integral to any earth and environmental science career path. They will develop basic field geology skills, understanding of how to survey areas to assess surface conditions and environmental processes, and the ability to understand and summarise industrial processes and environmental impacts.
Problem solving This module will develop a series of skills to enable students to observe, record and interpret various rock types, earth surface environments, environmental conditions, environmental processes and environmental impact. The module is designed to build these skills incrementally during the field trip, with a chance to apply problem solving skills to real world examples on individual field days, both in group and independent learning environments.
Research skills The students will be introduced to new topics which will require additional research. A written report following the residential field trip will necessitate use of research and information literacy skills.
Subject Specific Skills This module will develop a range of practical field skills for earth and environmental science students including observation, recording and interpretation of rock types, earth surface environments, environmental conditions, environmental processes and environmental impact.
Team work Small group work will be an integral part of the residential field trip.


This module is at CQFW Level 4