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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Earth Modelling and Prediction (GESC08002)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryEMP is a compulsory course for incoming Geosciences students who don't have sufficient maths qualifications, i.e. with a D grade or below at A-level Maths, or a C grade or below at Higher Maths. Students with sufficient qualifications can take the course but not for credit.

Earth Modelling and Prediction (EMP) is a level 8, 20-credit course. EMP uses topical issues in Geosciences to understand and develop the essential mathematical skills required by modern geoscientists. The emphasis will be on data analysis and interpretation, including an appreciation of the importance of observation errors and the use of quantitative data in the prediction of future changes in the Earth system.
Course description The course content will be taught through accessible applied problems (e.g., growth rate of ice sheets, balancing the carbon cycle), which are carefully designed to introduce key scientific notation and concepts that are used repeatedly through this course and more widely through the GeoSciences degree programmes.

Weekly tutorials (in groups of 5-6) will reinforce the key concepts taught in the course. The course will be examined by continuous assessment and an end of semester exam. EMP's total contact teaching time is 35 hours (20 x 1.5 hour lectures; 10 x 1.5 hour tutorials). Students should also undertake self-directed study outside the contact teaching hours.

Students will therefore have a sound understanding of
¿ Scientific notation and nomenclature (e.g. significant figures)
¿ How to manipulate equations
¿ How to use calculators to evaluate equations (e.g. exponent versus exponential)
¿ Guesstimation and knowing when to use it
¿ Trigonometry
¿ Logarithms
¿ Scalars and vectors
¿ Basic calculus
¿ Basic probability and statistics (e.g. mean and variance)
¿ Errors and uncertainty of measured or predicted values
¿ Areas and volumes
¿ How to approximate observed data using lines and curves

At the end of this course, students will be able to carry out routine lines of enquiry into professional level problems and critically evaluate evidence-based solutions.
Students will be assigned to either Wednesday or Friday tutorial. Details will be given of how to request to change tutorial group in specific applicable circumstances.

Tutorial topics are based on the maths lecture preceding it. In other words, the maths topic discussed at the Tuesday lecture will be covered on the following Wednesday or Friday.

If there are extenuating reasons why you cannot attend a tutorial, you must inform the Course Secretary and your Tutor in advance. Only exceptional circumstances will be considered for non-attendance. These do not include sporting or social engagements.

For any specific questions about tutorials and class work, you should first refer to the FAQ section on Learn before contacting the Course Organiser.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Formative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 193 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 65 %, Practical Exam 35 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 35%, Course Work: 65%

Assessment consists of the following compulsory components:
¿ Attendance at all (10) weekly tutorials
¿ Completion of each tutorial worksheet

During the 10 weeks of the course students are expected to attend:
¿ 20 lectures (20 x 1.5 hr)
¿ 10 tutorials (10 x 1.5 hr)

In addition, students are expected to undertake preparatory and independent reading, and preparation for their tutorials. These commitments amount to about 200 hours of study, including the 40 hours of teaching contact.

The teaching components of the course are outlined in more detail below. You are expected to arrive punctually for all lectures and tutorials and course-related commitments.

Students who do not attend any tutorials or who fail to submit all components of class work will not be assessed for a course degree mark and, thus, fail the course. Students who miss one tutorial will have their mark for the corresponding assessment capped at 40%.

The overall mark of the course is based on tutorial coursework (65% of the total mark) and an end of semester exam (35% of the total mark). Tutorial sheets will be distributed in weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8 and due in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9 respectively. Tutorial sheets due in weeks 2, 4, and 6 are each worth 15% of the course grade, and tutorial sheets due in weeks 8 and 9 are each worth 10% of the course grade. You must attend all tutorials and submit the completed tutorial exercises to the course Learn page by the due date (see below).

There is an end of semester exam worth 35% of the total course mark.
Each tutor will keep an attendance record for each session. If you don¿t attend a tutorial without good reason, your mark for that exercise will be restricted to 40%. It is your responsibility to inform your Tutor and the Course Administrator in advance and in writing if you have an exceptional reason for not attending a tutorial. No cases for retrospective non-attendance will be considered unless appropriate extenuating circumstances are proven.

The pass mark for this course is 40%. To pass the course, students are required to submit all tutorial sheets, to score at least 40% for the tutorials (on average), and to score at least 40% for the exam.

Assessment Deadlines

Examination at the end of Semester 1.

You must submit the completed tutorial exercises to the Turnitin submission box, which you will find on the course Learn page. All deadlines are 15:00 BST on the following dates:
¿ Week 1 tutorial: submit by 15:00 BST Friday week 2 (1 October))
¿ Week 3 tutorial: submit by 15:00 BST Friday week 4 (15 October)
¿ Week 5 tutorial: submit by 15:00 BST Friday week 6 (29 October)
¿ Week 7 tutorial: submit by 15:00 BST Friday week 8 (12 November)
¿ Week 8 tutorial: submit by 15:00 BST Friday week 9 (19 November)

There is a penalty for late submission of coursework. The penalty will be a reduction of the mark by 5% of the maximum obtainable mark per calendar day (e.g. a mark of 65% would be reduced to 60% up to 24 hours later when marked originally out of 100). This would apply for up to seven calendar days, after which a mark of zero will be given.
Students who join Earth Modelling and Prediction during week 2 or week 3, will have to submit the week 1 tutorial work along with their week 3 tutorial work, on Friday week 4. They will not be penalised for this late submission.
Assessment and Feedback information can be found at the following link:

All details related to extensions procedures and late penalties can be found in the School of Geosciences Handbook, which can be found on the Learn UG Student Information Hub or by contacting your School Student Support Team.
Feedback Written feedback on the tutorial sheets will be provided by the Tutors and will be available on your electronically graded submission. Overall feedback on the course will be available at the beginning of semester 2. The Tutor will give immediate feedback on work during the tutorial sessions.

At the beginning of the course, a year representative will be elected for your programme. They will represent the programme but will also be able to feed back important information to staff, students, and to EUSA and the staff/student liaison committee. Make use of these representatives as a channel for your comments and feedback about the course.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)1:15
Resit Exam Diet (August)1:15
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Appreciate quantitative methods that are commonly used in geosciences to answer a range of questions in Earth system science.
  2. Develop a broad knowledge and understanding of how to use a range of standard methods to process and obtain data.
  3. Use and evaluate numerical and graphical data to solve problems.
  4. Carry out routine lines of enquiry into professional level problems and critically evaluate evidence-based solutions.
Reading List
Recommended textbooks
Foundation maths by Anthony Croft and Robert Davison, Pearson/Prentice Hall
Essential Maths for Geoscientists: An Introduction. by Paul I. Palmer, Wiley Blackwell
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 x 1.5 hour tutorial per week. 2 x 1.5 hour lectures each week.

Students will be assigned to either Wednesday or Thursday tutorial. Details will be given of how to request to change tutorial group in specific applicable circumstances.
KeywordsEarth Modelling and Prediction
Course organiserDr Massimo Bollasina
Tel: (0131 6)51 3464
Course secretaryMs Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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