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Last modified: 31 Jul 2023 11:19

Course Overview

Field-based observation is an essential skill for understanding the origin of rocks, and is a vital reality-check for understanding how Geological Science is practised and developed. This course gives students experience with techniques for investigating rocks in their natural habitat, studying the crucial relationships between different units, and developing good habits for observing and recording data in the field. Students learn how to perceive geology in 3D, and to develop working hypotheses from incomplete evidence. This is achieved through a five-day residential field trip (takes place in the Easter break) which is preceded by wide-ranging practical classes and explanatory lectures.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Colin North

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 2

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?

What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

As well as demonstrating generally why fieldwork is important, and showing what can be learnt in the field that cannot be determined in the laboratory, the course will put special emphasis on these skills:

  • Keeping an accurate and scientifically useful field notebook;

  • Recording sedimentary successions (“logging”);

  • Recording structural and spatial data;

  • Presenting geological data on maps;

  • Recognise the character of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks at scales larger than hand specimen;

  • Conducting fieldwork safely, effectively, and responsibly.

These skills will initially be explained and demonstrated before the field trip through lectures and practical classes, including giving you familiarity with sedimentary structures, trace fossils, and rock description. The five-day residential field trip to a geologically diverse area completes the training by providing the chance to put these skills to use in the real world. The preparatory classes are assessed along with the notebook completed in the field and the evening assignments carried out during the trip.

Associated Costs

Filed trip. Additional things to buy: water-proof boots, water-proof outer-layer clothes, 25-35L rucsac GBP 420.00
Field notebook GBP 12.00
A hard-hat and a high visibility (yellow) vest GBP 10.00
Hand lens (also called a field loupe), magnifying power x10 GBP 100.00
Geological compass-clinometer. Can be borrowed from school GBP 50.00

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

Field Trip Log

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 100
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

Look up Week Numbers


Written summative feedback will be provided on daily field-based exercises.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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