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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Frontiers in Research (EASC10089)

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 Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will develop the student's transferable skills by encouraging them to undertake a number of tasks that increase their critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. The course is organised in three parts: (1) the seminar component, (2) the 24 hour essay, and (3) the enterprise initiative. They will critically assess research seminars given by national and international Earth Scientists in the School of Geosciences.

Students will deepen their understanding of one of the topics presented and train their scientific writing skills in a three page literature review. The 24 hours essay will train report writing under tight time constraints by having students investigate and summarize our current understanding of a timely research topic overnight. During the Enterprise Initiative they will be introduced to life and skills relevant to a work environment making decisions, communicating results and presenting to managers. This will also develop group working skills.

Note that from 2016/2017 onwards, for the seminar component (1), students will attend a minimum of 20 seminar presentations at the School of Geosciences, spread throughout the entire academic year, starting from September 19, 2016, and ending on April 7, 2017. Students can choose to attend either Earth and Planetary Sciences seminars, Global Change seminars or Hutton Club seminars. Attendance will be monitored. The literature review, which forms the assessment for (1), can be submitted any time throughout the year but will only be assessed when the minimum number of seminars have been attended.

Course description (1) Seminars component: both semesters from September 19 to December 9 and from January 16 to April 7.
Earth and Planetary Sciences, Global Change, or Hutton Club seminars

(2) Enterprise initiative: Semester 2, during FCL (2 day activity).

(3) Twenty-four hour essay: Semester 2, week 10 No lecture.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
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: 100 ( Lecture Hours 56, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 34 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: %, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: %.
Each of the three components will be assessed and contribute one third to the final mark. Attending a minimum of 20 seminars is a prerequisite for assessment.

SG Practicals due:
October 18
November 15
December 6

During FCL, a course in scientific writing will be offered.

Feedback Feedback on the literature review submitted as assessment of component (1) will be given to students upon request; they are invited to submit draft-versions.

Feedback on the Enterprise Initiative will be given throughout the 2-day course in FCL.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically assess work in both oral and written format.
  2. Summarise and discuss state of knowledge of a variety of research topics.
  3. Gather information from several sources, evaluate the material and present a report in written format.
  4. Work together in a team to gain consensus on a set problem.
  5. Write scientifically.
Reading List
D Lindsay 2011 - Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words, CSIRO Publishing
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Presentation skills;
Writing skills;
Critical analysis;
Time management;
Team working;
KeywordsTransferable skills,Scientific writing,Cutting-edge research,Team work
Course organiserDr Andrew Bell
Tel: (0131 6)50 4777
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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