Module Identifier EA11510  
Module Title PLANET EARTH  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Professor Alex Maltman  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   20 x 1 hr  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam1.5 Hours Mid-semester on-line 'trial' exam; marks not counted but exam is compulsory. 1.5 hrs on-line computer-marked multiple choice examination.100%
Supplementary Assessment Examination (100%) in the same on-line computer-marked multiple choice format.100%

Learning outcomes

On succesful completion of this module, students should demonstrate knowledge of:-


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.


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. Earth's internal stresses: the deformation of rocks.
  9. Time: a long perspective.
  10. Fossils and the history of life.
  11. Geological maps and the geology of the U.K.
  12. Ice ages, past and present.
  13. Oceans.
  14. Groundwater.
  15. Earthquakes.
  16. Inside our planet.
  17. A bountiful planet: rocks, minerals, and gemstones.
  18. A finite planet: Earth's dwindling resources.
  19. A dangerous planet: geohazards.
  20. Planet Earth: its future

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Press, F., Siever, R., Grotzinger, J. & Jordan, T.H. (2004) Understanding Earth 4th. W.H. Freeman Ltd. 0716796171


This module is at CQFW Level 4