We run a number of day-long field classes on our local rocks, the resources within an hour or two of the department. But the cornerstones of our field training are the residential classes.

Level 2: Arran

A one-week trip in the Easter period of level 2 introduces many of the nuts and bolts of fieldwork, reinforcing basic note-taking, measurement and interpretation. Arran is classic ground with an unrivalled variety of geology on one island!





Level 3: Skye

The start of the honours programme kicks off in late September with a 9-day, dual-site field class to a world-class basin-bounding fault zone and the famous  igneous and sedimentary geology of the inner Hebrides. You’ll learn how to collect data from sedimentary and igneous rocks in the field, how to interpret their 3D structure and how they came to be there. On Skye students investigate the interactions between magma and sediment using classic outcrops from the British Tertiary Igneous Complex. We develop a range of mapping techniques from detailed exercises on the foreshore through tracing geology inland and then up into the hills, on the edge of the famous Cuillin mountains.

Level 3: NW Highlands

In April-May we run a 2 week field class into the best 3D geological landscape in the British Isles – to reinforce your 3D visualisation skills, develop mapping  prowess and get you into some key structural geology. The ground lies in the Moine Thrust Belt – home to many fundamental ideas of how mountain belts are formed. And you can see why – stunning outcrops amid spectacular landscape. We use outcrops to teach elements of structural geology but it’s not just about the tectonics. We’ll trace out major unconformities and establish a long geological history using your own observations. This class, coming in the Spring of Level 3, forms the technical foundation for your Geological Field Project, a major component for the final year of BSc study. Not only will you enhance your field mapping and 3D visualization skills, we’ll also hone your hazard assessments and develop your independent working.

Level 4: Geological Field Project

The highlight of our BSc training for many comes with the 5-week field project. We offer a range of locations in the UK where you can play to your strengths  and interests, working on a specialised geological project and then writing it up. Employers value this experience very highly – there’s nothing like for demonstrating your resourcefulness, perseverance and geological nous! The fieldwork takes place in the summer between Level 3 and Level 4 and, although you’ll receive support, guidance and a visit by academic staff, the actually delivery of the project happens without direct staff involvement.

Level 4: Advanced field courses

A taught residential field course is a compulsory part of the final year of the BSc programmes but we offer choices that evolve over the years. In general these options track the research interests of the staff so you’ll get taken towards the edge of existing geological knowledge!

Level 5: MGeol fieldwork

The new programme has a full module of fieldwork with a integrative overseas geotraverse as its centrepiece. For the first year of delivery this is set for the Southern Apennines of Italy, a unique site for exploring.