Undergraduate Course: Planetary Science (EASC10125)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course provides an introduction to recent advances in planetary science. We will consider how our solar system formed, and how the planets, moons and smaller bodies which constitute it have evolved through time. Classes are based around themed student-led presentations on recent missions and topical research across the fields of planetary science and astrobiology.
Each week we will focus on a different area of planetary science. Examples of topics include, but are not limited to:
- From dust to planets in less than 100Myr: formation and early evolution of the solar system
- The moon-forming impact: how a catastrophic collision forged the Earth-Moon system
- Planetary volcanology: comparing volcanic processes on Earth, Mars, Venus and the icy moons
- Looking beyond our solar system: exoplanets and the search for Earth 2.0
- Stagnant lids vs plate tectonics: Venus and Earth as unlikely twins
- The icy worlds: planetary processes in the outer solar system
- Separating iron from rock: how do planets form cores?
- biosignatures and habitable worlds: the search for extra-terrestrial life
Each week, the chosen topic will be introduced through a short presentation. Students will then give 15 minute oral presentations on selected papers, followed by an instructor-led topical debate. Presentations will graded by staff and presenters given feedback. Students will additionally prepare an essay on one of the topics presented, not including material from sessions in which they have already orally presented.
This course will allow students to gain further skills in independent learning and critical analysis and in debating, in a friendly, inclusive environment.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Must have taken similar courses as pre-requisites. Acceptance into the course will be on CO discretion.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
30%: Student oral presentations of research papers; students will prepare and present 1x or 2x 15 minute talks throughout the course (dependent on course numbers). These will be assessed by staff.
70%: Written presentation. Students will prepare a 2000 word essay/report summarising key aspects on one of the chosen topics. This cannot be a topic which students have orally presented on.
Student Oral Presentations: Weeks 2 ¿ 10, semester 2, in class presentation
Written Presentation: Wednesday, week 11, semester 2
||Students will receive written and oral feedback on the seminars within the session they present, both from staff and their peers. Class-led discussions will provide immediate feedback on whether their peers agreed on the key points highlighted, with additional written peer feedback at the end of each session. Staff will additionally grade and assess presentations and provide individual feedback for student presenters at the end of each session. Written feedback on reports will be given by staff.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Synthesise and critically analyse key data and complex arguments from peer reviewed literature
- Gain experience of oral communication of complex ideas
- Be confident at peer assessing and providing useful, constructive feedback
- Gain insight into the chemical evolution of planets within the solar system
- Become familiar with key topics in modern geochemistry and planetary research
|A new reading list will be set at the start of the course each year. It will consist of peer-reviewed literature that is easily accessible by the students.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course is designed to help students become independent learners. Students will gain skills in researching, assessing and critically analysing scientific literature and then synthesising complex data and arguments into oral and written presentations. they will gain oral and written communication skills and debating skills to a professional level.
|Course organiser||Dr Geoffrey Bromiley
Tel: (0131 6)50 8519
|Course secretary||Ms Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430