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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Cyprus Excursion and Synoptical Practical for Geologists (EASC10068)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course consists of three elements, namely:

1. Geology Final Year field Course to Cyprus;
2. student portfolio; and
3. Synoptic Practical course and exam.

This component of the Course consists of a series of introductory / scene-setting lectures in Edinburgh and a two week residential trip to consider the Evolution of Cyprus in its Eastern Mediterranean context. Students are introduced to the principal theories and concepts of recent work from Cyprus in its regional geological settting and will gain a detailed, critical understanding of the island as well as the key processes that have shaped its evolution. This utilises all the student skills and understanding of geological and related principles developed over the 4 years of the Geology degree.

Student Portfolio
This consists of an assessed project that tests a student's understanding of rock and mineral identification primarily through the use of thin section microscopy. Students are supplied with three 'unseen' thin sections (one each of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rock types), which they describe and interpret in illustrated reports, each of 2 sides length, for each rock. The exercise builds on students' previous 3 years of microsdcope and petrological work.

Synoptic Practical
This consists of a 4-hour practical exam that concludes the finals exams process in May. It is entrely exam-based, aimed to bring together a wide range of materials and elements of practical experience that students have developed in the preceding 4 years. The practical involves synthesising and interpreting the geological evolution of an area based on its geological map and additional rock, fossil, mineral and field information (hand specimens, thin sections, photos) as well as relevant structural, isotopic and geocvhemical or other data. Students are supported in their preparatory work for practical examination through the provision of a 'dry-run' practical class in which they are introduced to the style of exam, the prinicples of time management involved in its completion, and the types of data that need to be integrated when synthesising the geological evolution of an area.
Course description Semester 1:
Student Portfolio
3 thin sections to describe and interpret in illustrated reports, each of 2 sides length, for each rock. Carried out in Students' own time over the period October 4th to November 15th 2016

Semester 2:
5 Lectures (Edinburgh), Block 3 of Semester 2, on key aspects of the Geology of Cyprus.
Two-week residential trip to Cyprus.
Synoptic Practical
4-hour practical exam that concludes the finals exams process in May.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Structural Geology (EASC09002) AND Field Skills for Earth Surface Scientists (EASC09032) AND Geology 3rd Year Field Courses (EASC09029)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Contribution to the fieldwork costs in 2014 was 270
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 3, Fieldwork Hours 100, Formative Assessment Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 81 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 15 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 35 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 15%, Course Work: 50 %, Practical Exam: 35%.

Cyprus Field Component (50% of whole Course): Assessed through two routes:

1) a collective assessment of the student's field notebooks, extended abstract and a presentation on an aspect of the island's geological history (collectively 35% of whole Course).

2) Written examination of 1 hour duration (15% of whole Course)
Student Portfolio (15% of whole Course): Assessed through the submitted report on three thin sections (2 sides each, including illustrations; total of 6 sides A4).

Synoptic Practical (35% of whole Course): Assessed by exam only; 4 hour practical examination held in the May examination diet.

Assessment deadlines:

Student Portfolio: Tuesday November 17th 2015 at 1200 noon. (Portfolio lists are issued to students on October 6th 2015)

Extended Abstract prior to excursion departure, end of Block 4;
Report / field Notebook - following the excursion (April 2016);
Final component of assessment is a 1 hour examination in the May diet.
Synoptic Practical: No in-course assessment. Assessment only by one 4-hour examination in the May diet.

Feedback 1. Student Portfolio: This is marked and returned to students by the beginning of December with extensive detailed written feedback on the quality and structure of the portfolio descriptions. This written feedback is backed-up by 1-to-1 meetings to discuss the reports, at the request of individual students. The feedback is expected to contribute positively to the manner in which students present their own thin section observations in their Dissertations.

2. Cyprus: All extended abstracts are commented upon with written feedback and corrections. This is used to inform the later reports and the written examination. In the field discussion provides direct feedback as these are focussed on the topics, sites and issues raised in the seminars / abstracts. Students present short talks on pre-arranged topics and receive verbal feedback on these from lecturers and classmates. Field notebooks are examined by the Field Leaders after the end of the fieldtrip written comments are made on their contents.

3. Synoptic Practical: a 'Dry Run' general practical exercise in held in May to assist students in their management of the examination. Students are provided with 'in-situ' and 'problem-directed' explicit feedback during this practice session.

4. Students may request specific individual or small group feedback sessions on any of the components in this course by emailing the CO or relevant staff member.

Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)1:00
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)4:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop skills in the best use of primary field and lab-based methods in order to develop and test geological ideas and concepts, in both field-based (Cyprus) and laboratory-based (Synoptic practical, Student portfolio) contexts.
  2. Enhance critical awareness of hypothesis development and evolution.
  3. Enhance skills in appraisal through the use of practical techniques.
  4. Develop skills in professional judgement and decision-making based on the critical review and consolidation of diverse and incomplete data sets.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsCyprus-Geol,field mappingmicroscopylaboatory analysiscritical appraisal
Course organiserProf Simon Harley
Tel: (0131 6)50 8547
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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