Independent Earth Science Mapping Dissertation EARTH4080P

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

An independent Earth Science mapping dissertation. In the summer between 3rd and 4th year, students will undertake 18 days of independent geomorphological and geological mapping. Students will produce detailed geomorphological maps and field notebooks with a variety of data, and use this information to interpret the Quaternary geological history of the area. A final report with detailed descriptions and interpretations of the geology, a large format digitised geomorphological map, GIS based morphometric maps and a poster, will be produced.


The course consists of an independent field geomorphological and geological mapping dissertation (minimum 18 days) conducted pre-sessional, developed during Semester 1, and completed in early Semester 2.

Requirements of Entry

Normally completion of Level 3 Earth Science courses at a mean of D3.

Excluded Courses

EARTH4003 - Independent Geological Mapping


Dissertation, including maps, notebooks and model output (80%)

Poster presentation and defence (20%) 

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 plan, conduct and report on an independent field-based geomorphological and geological mapping research project.

■ To provide advanced training in the production of field observations-based geomorphological and geological maps and GIS-based morphometric maps.

■ 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:


■ Collect, record and analyse data as part of an independent field-based geomorphological and geological dissertation and present findings by writing a scientific report

■ Identify and interpret soil types and profiles and landforms, and integrate within a Quaternary geological history

■ Construct advanced geomorphological maps, and apply quantitative methods to interpret the 4D history of an area.

■ Evaluate scenarios of landscape evolution using numerical modelling methods, based on data collected in the field

■ Prepare digital spatial models to interpret the Quaternary geology of an area

■ Present and discuss a scientific conference-style research poster

■ Prepare a risk assessment, and appraise health and safety issues in the field

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.