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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

The fieldtrip explores the physical geography of the Italian Alps. The course is based around an eight day residential field-course located In the shadow of the Mont Blanc Massif supported by taught and student-led sessions on campus.  Students have the opportunity to study glacier dynamics and geomorphology, alpine hazards such as avalanches, mountain ecology and the dynamics of alpine rivers. Students complete independent research projects, conducted in small groups, on topics they select themselves and which are developed with support from an academic supervisor.  The course will also provide research training in physical geography.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No

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Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • One of GG2003 Environmental Systems (Passed) or GG2010 Physical Environments (Passed) or GG2013 Physical Environments (Passed)
  • One of GG2505 Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (Passed) or GG2507 Skills and Techniques in Geosciences (Passed) or GG2508 Skills and Techniques in Geosciences (Passed) or GG2510 Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (Passed)
  • GG3575 Techniques in Physical Geography (Studied)
  • One of GG3052 Approaches to Earth and Environmental Science (Studied) or GG3573 Research Design (Studied) or GG3574 Research Design (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • GG4569 Human Geography: Honours Field Course (Studied)
  • GG4574 Human Geography: Honours Field Course (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

General material will cover:
  • The influence of tectonics, structure and lithology on alpine landforms.
  • Glacial and glacio-fluvial processes and landforms.
  • Slope processes and forms characteristic of high altitudes and steep relief.
  • Alpine ecosystems, water resource and hazard management in alpine areas.
  • The interactions between alpine climate, ecology, hydrology and geomorphology responsible for landscape change.
Students will design and execute projects that target specific aspects of their choice.

Associated Costs

Estimated cost towards the field course is £470.

Further Information & Notes

Teaching for this course begins in the second half-session of third year. Normally this course will only run if 10 or more students are registered. Students are asked to make their own travel arrangements to and from the field course venue and they are also asked to make a contribution towards the cost of the field course. Please ask for further details.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 100% coursework: pre-trip presentation, end of trip presentation (each 16.5%) plus final report (67 %). Resit: Resubmission of failed trip report, with mark for this component to be capped at CAS 9.

Formative Assessment

Students work in groups, supported by staff, to prepare their field trip projects. Students are expected to keep a diary/notebook that records the progress of their project. Pre-trip and end-of-trip presentations provide opportunities for formative feedback that can be used to improve students' performance at the next task/stage of assessment. Production of the report provides useful practice, with feedback, for students who will submit a dissertation.


Feedback (verbal and/or written) on students' pre-trip presentation before the field trip provides opportunities to adjust the proposed research design. Feedback (verbal and/or written) on students' end-of-trip presentation provides opportunities to adjust the processing and write-up of data. Students receive individual written feedback on their project report.

Course Learning Outcomes


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