Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Fieldwork Skills
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Field notebook and associated exercises  50%
Semester Assessment Summary field report  1500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Field notebook and associated exercises  50%
Supplementary Assessment Summary field report  1500 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate proficiency in the field, including graphical, sampling, and field note-taking skills

Exhibit technical proficiency in the operation of field equipment and evaluate the safety and logistical requirements of fieldwork planning

Assess geological and/or ecological aspects of the environment

Understand links 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.

The course will explore interlocking themes of geology, earth surface processes, geomorphology, and ecology, alongside our interaction with these natural systems including sustainable resource use, present and future energy sources, and environmental degradation. We will visit a range of natural and industrial / post-industrial localities, building up a picture of the regional geology and the environmental impact of past, present, and future industrial activities. A report is subsequently written up using observations recorded in the field. The module will develop practical skills in field data collection, field data analysis, field notebook skills, and field report writing.


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

- Environmental change
- Human impacts on the environment
- Earth resources
- Geology
- Ecology
- Recording data in the field
- Applied fieldwork

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience Students will need to adapt quickly and develop resilience to working in an unfamiliar environment, on new problems, and often in challenging weather conditions.
Co-ordinating with others Students will have ample opportunity for team work in both small and large groups on each field day.
Creative Problem Solving The module is designed to build practical field skills incrementally during the field days, with a chance to solve problems frequently encountered in the sector in both group and independent learning environments.
Critical and analytical thinking Students will be encouraged to critically analyse a wide variety of landscapes and landforms from a geological/environmental science perspective, often linking to anthropogenic influences.
Digital capability Students will be expected to use word processing technology, digital photographs and maps to complete their field report. Students will be expected to use information technology to aid further reading.
Professional communication Field days are inherently interactive, and students will be encouraged to communicate with each other through small group exercises. The field days ensure 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.
Real world sense 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/ecology 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.
Reflection 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.
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.


This module is at CQFW Level 4