Earth Science & The Environment 1Y:Towards a Sustainable Future EARTH1002

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The course is designed to build on EARTH1001 and particularly to highlight practical techniques for study of the planet, and will include: the use of the fossil record; the origin and sustainable use of Earth's renewable and non-renewable resources; how geology and the landscape combine to generate sedimentary rocks and hazards and contemporary challenges for geologists to tackle.


Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 9.00 am; fortnightly laboratory; fortnightly tutorial.

Requirements of Entry

There are no pre-requisites for entry to the course, although students normally have "A" or "B" passes in two or more Science subjects at SQA Higher or equivalent.

Excluded Courses



EARTH 1001


One 90-minute examination at the end of the teaching period (60%), essay (30%) and fortnightly assessments (10%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade.


The sole exception for EARTH1002 is the fortnightly in-class assessment. 

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to investigate the:

■ development of life on Earth and its relationship to geological processes,

■ generation and sustainable use of geological resources,

■ processes of sedimentation and generation of natural hazards,

■ challenges to be addressed today and in future by Earth Scientists, and to

■ develop written communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

■ Explain the processes behind major events in the evolution of the solid Earth and life, including demonstrating the use of fossils and proxies in reconstructing environments, climate change and plate tectonics,

■ Outline the mode of formation of finite resources such as minerals and hydrocarbons and explain the methods to locate and manage them in an environmentally sustainable manner,

■ Describe the generation of renewable resources such as geothermal energy and water and how they are exploited and managed to avoid pollution,

■ Explain the weathering of rocks and transportation, deposition and lithification of sediments to form sedimentary rocks,

■ Explain the combination of surface processes and geology to generate geological hazards such as slope failure and flooding,

■ Research a topic in Earth Science and produce a concise written report.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

  Normally, 80% completion of fortnightly assessments and 75% total submission of assessments.