Module Identifier EA11510  
Module Title PLANET EARTH  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Alex Maltman  
Semester Semester 1  
Mutually Exclusive Not recommended for students with an 'A-level' in Geology or similar experience and interests.  
Course delivery Lecture   20 x 1 hr  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours end of semester examination  100%
Supplementary Assessment Examination (100%) in the same computer-marked multiple choice format.100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should have a knowledge of :-


This module introduces our planet and how it works, and is aimed primarily at those students who will not be continuing in Earth Science. The emphasis throughout is on concepts and understanding what you can see around you. Terminology is kept to a minimum. The course is especially suitable for students outside the Faculty of Science.

The first lectures introduce the setting of planet Earth and the ways in which we approach an understanding and appreciation of it. The chief kinds of minerals and rocks are explained, together with the physical processes that shape the Earth's surface. Other lectures cover such topics as volcanoes, glaciers, earthquakes, the oceans, and understanding the landscape. The state of Earth's energy and mineral resources is discussed, emphasising how we interact with our planet.
The lectures are fully illustrated, using examples from all over the U.K. and around the world. The course will follow closely the textbook 'Understanding Earth'; the lecture themes, listed below, largely coincide with the chapters in the third edition. Earlier editions of this book are also extremely suitable, although the 1st Edition has no CDROM. Any introductory text to the Earth, geology, etc. will also be helpful.

  1. Introduction to the course. The origins and setting of our planet.
  2. Understanding Earth: the science of geology.
  3. Minerals: Earth's building blocks.
  4. Igneous rocks I: underground melts.
  5. Igneous rocks II: volcanoes.
  6. Sediments and sedimentary rocks.
  7. Metamorphic rocks: slow changes at depth.
  8. Time: a long perspective.
  9. Fossils and the history of life.
  10. Earth's internal stresses: the deformation of rocks.
  11.    Surface processes.
  12. Water, and its importance at Earth's surface.
  13. Geological maps and the geology of the U.K.
  14. Oceans.
  15.    Earthquakes
  16. Inside our planet.
  17. Useful minerals, crystals, and gems
  18. Earth's dwindling resources.
  19. Earth: a benign yet dangerous planet.
  20.    Planet Earth: the future


This module is designed expressly to introduce to those students who would otherwise do little or no earth science a basic understanding and appreciation of physical aspects of our planet. However, it will also provide a general introduction for students beginning in Environmental Earth Science.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Press, F. & Siever, R (2000) Understanding Earth 3rd if poss.. W.H. Freeman Ltd. ISBN 0-71674-401-5


This module is at CQFW Level 4