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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 seminar topics, and train their translational and communication skills in a science outreach exercise. The 24 hours essay will train scientific 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.

The format of the seminar component of the course has changed slightly from last year, as a result of a change in the EPS seminar schedule and in response to comments in student feedback. You are required to attend 5 seminar presentations at the School of Geosciences each semester, 10 in total through the academic year, starting from September 17, 2018, ending on April 5, 2019. You can choose to attend either an Earth and Planetary Sciences seminar, a Global Change seminar or a Hutton Club seminar. Edinburgh Geological Society seminars are also included, and the Course Organiser will consider other relevant seminars if asked ahead of time. Seminars are generally advertised on the School website, by email, and on posters around the different School buildings. It's you're responsibility to find out when they are happening. For more information on this assessment, please refer to the learn page for this course.

You are required to write a blog, with at least one post for each of these 10 seminars, discussing the science they contain
Course description (1) Seminars component: both semesters from September 17 to December 7 2018 and from January 14 to April 5 2019. 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 2018/19, 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 10 seminars (5 per semester) is expected for assessment of the science outreach exercise. If this total is not reached, a 5% penalty per missed seminar will be applied to the mark for the science outreach exercise.


- Science Communication Exercise
- Enterprise Initiative: Takes place during Innovative Learning Week
- 24 Hour Essay

For full information regarding deadlines please see the learn page.
Feedback Feedback will be provided on all pieces of assessed work. Advice on draft-versions of the science outreach exercise will be given to students upon request.

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 and communicate technical scientific information to a non-expert audience.
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 secretaryMs Ashley Stein
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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