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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Geology Dissertation (EASC10011)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryAn independent investigation in to a geological problem, collecting and analysing primary observations, and developing professional levels insights and interpretations, and presenting them in a comprehensive report.
Course description In 2020/21, the Geology Dissertation has been adapted to account for disruption due to COVID19. As of early July 2020, there remains ongoing uncertainty regarding the viability of UK-based fieldwork in Semester 1, though current indications are that some fieldwork may be possible. To account for this uncertainty, but retain the possibility of the most rewarding dissertation experience possible, three alternative formats for the dissertation are being prepared:

1) Independent geological mapping and field data collection as part of small teams at bases in the northern UK in early Semester 1. Work on data analysis, interpretation, and presentation will continue in Semesters 1 and 2 back in Edinburgh. Fieldwork will last approximately two weeks, at locations chosen and planned by the CO, and vetted for academic and logistical suitability.

2) Independent geological mapping and field data collection in Holyrood Park and environs in early Semester 1. Work on data analysis, interpretation, and presentation will continue in Semesters 1 and 2 in Edinburgh. Fieldwork will last approximately two weeks, based out of normal semester-time accommodation.

3) Desk-based geological research projects for students for which options (1) or (2) are not viable, for example due to health reasons, or the student is unable to attend Edinburgh in person.

The choice of option for each student will happen later in the summer as the COVID situation becomes clearer. It will be made in discussion with the student, and in partnership with the DPC, School Health and Safety Manager, and School management.

The very comprehensive and detailed syllabus for the Geology Dissertation in previous years is available in Parts One and Two of the Handbook for the Geology Honours Dissertation Mapping Project (Blue Book), available from the course's LEARN site. Although the format of the fieldwork will necessarily change for 2020/21 the guiding principles in the Blue Book will still apply.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Structural Analysis of Rocks and Regions (SARR) (EASC09052) AND Field Skills for Geology (EASC10105)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 381 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %

The course is assessed entirely on the basis of the dissertation and associated documents. Primary observations (e.g. field notebook and field maps) and geological interpretation (e.g. cross sections) count for 60% of the final mark. The written dissertation and final presentation of data (e.g. final map), including data presentation and display to support the arguments and interpretations, will provide the remaining 40%. The final map and dissertation should be prepared to a professional standard. Marks will be deducted for poor presentation and writing.

Assessment deadlines
The dissertation is to be submitted by 12:00 Tuesday Week 5 (9 February 2021)
Feedback Students will be assigned an advisor, who is a member of academic staff that will provide feedback to student throughout the entire dissertation, from the project planning stage through field work to data processing and report writing. Additional feedback can be obtained from the course organiser where necessary.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of a geological problem.
  2. Produce professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
  3. Process information and data to make robust conclusions.
  4. Develop autonomy and problem solving skills.
  5. Write a comprehensive report that addresses a scientific problem.
Reading List
Relevant literature on the chosen field area.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The dissertation develops a suite of attributes and skills of great relevance to a wide range of graduate careers. Students will develop and undertake independent geological research, utilizing the skillset they have developed in their degree.
Study Abroad The options to conduct the field work as part of study abroad are laid out in the blue book.
KeywordsGeology_dissertations,Independent field work
Course organiserDr Andrew Bell
Tel: (0131 6)50 4777
Course secretaryMs Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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