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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Field based course that takes you across northeast Scotland exploring an ancient tropical rainforest, hill farming in action, survey techniques and soil formation.

A long tradition of soil science teaching at the University of Aberdeen assembled into lectures and field trips delivered by senior academics. 

Your assessments are geared towards developing practical skills. This includes a field log book to teach survey techniques, a presentation on a particular soil that requires research akin to detective work, and a quiz on soil classification.  An essay will also assessed.


Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Paul Hallett

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied) or BI4015 Grant Proposal (Passed)
  • One of MRes Ecology & Environmental Sustainability or MRes Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology or MRes Environmental Science or MRes Soil Science or MSc Ecology & Environmental Sustainability or MSc Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology or MSc Forestry (Taught) or Master Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management or MSc Soil Science or MSc Environmental Science or MSci Biological Sciences

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • EV3001 Global Soil Geography (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Considers the factors and processes that form soils; the aspects that govern the distribution and evolution of soils in a local, regional and global scale; the interaction of soils with biological processes and their susceptibility to environmental change; the classification and taxonomy of soils; and the use of mapping in land capability and other practices.  Weekly field trips provide hands-on experience across northeast Scotland.

Associated Costs


Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • MRes Soil Science
  • MSc Soil Science

Contact Teaching Time

84 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


Continuous assessment (100%). In course assessment is made up of three parts, a soil description  presentation (25%) and poster (15%),  a field notebook (10%), a quiz on soil classification (25%) and an essay (25%).

Formative Assessment

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during discussions, field trips, practicals and presentations.


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments.

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