Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

The Geology of Scotland - Earth Science International Summer School EARTH3010

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

A field-based introduction to the geology of Scotland and its key role in the development of Earth Sciences as a discipline.


ca. 10 days of field teaching and 4 days lectures/practical and independent study.

Requirements of Entry

Normally completion of at least 2 years of an undergraduate Geology/Earth Sciences degree.

Excluded Courses

EARTH4002 Portfolio A




Portfolio of field and practical data and their interpretation (70%), 10 minute group presentation (10%), lab assessments (20%)

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. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


This is a summer school for international students and is largely field based. It is therefore not possible to offer reassessment.

Course Aims

To demonstrate the geological history of Scotland.

To outline the principal methods of determining geological time and the development of geological thinking.

To demonstrate the principles of terrane analysis in the British Caledonides.

To provide an introduction to advanced field observation and geological mapping, cross-discipline thinking and interpretation of field-based data.

To provide instruction, practice and feedback in the skills of giving short technical seminars to groups of peers.
To provide opportunities to develop teamwork skills in the handling of tasks and the solution of pr

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. take measurement of planar and linear structural features (bedding, cleavage, folds, lineations)

2. record, interpret and compile field measurements into maps and sections

3. explain the geological history of Scotland

4. summarise the evidence for exotic crustal terranes, particularly with regard to the Caledonides in the British Isles

5. describe the techniques used to determine geological ages

6. explain the development of key concepts in geological thinking

7. prepare, structure and deliver seminar presentations, including diagrams, digital images, and sustain a point in discussion

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the residential field classes and submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.