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.

Independent Geology Dissertation EARTH4079P

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

An independent Geology dissertation using a range of techniques to answer a specific pre-determined geological research question.  In the summer between 3rd and 4th year, students will collect and process data before continuing to analyse and write-up their data during Semester. Students may utilise a range of techniques in their project, including spatial and numerical analysis.   


The course consists of an independent dissertation (minimum 24 days) conducted pre-sessional, developed and completed during Semester 1.

Requirements of Entry

Normally completion of Level 3 Geology courses at a mean of D3.

Excluded Courses

EARTH4003 - Independent Geological Mapping

EARTH4079P - Independent Geological Mapping Dissertation (previous version)


Dissertation (75%)

Video presentation (25%) 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

The aims of this course are:

■ To develop a research question and conduct independent research to test a hypothesis

■ To plan, conduct and report on an independent study, that can use spatial and numerical methods and analyses to address the research question

■ To provide transferable presentation, integration and adaptability skills required by graduates for both postgraduate study and for the commercial and industrial environment.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Conduct independent research to test a hypothesis

■ Collect and/or record data and integrate, process, interpret and discuss as appropriate to address a research question

■ Critically assess uncertainty around data

■ Synthesise findings by writing a technical-style report

■ Present and discuss in a video the research undertaken

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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