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.

Geological Hazards: Field Skills and Problem Solving EARTH4082

  • 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: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will develop generic skills such as problem solving and team-working, with reference to applied geological and environmental hazards. The course requires participation in a residential international field course, which will act as a case study to provide skills in addressing geoscience problems.


Four classes per week for 1 weeks (2 hr lecture and 1 hr lab per class). 8-day residential overseas field class.

Requirements of Entry

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

Excluded Courses

EARTH4013 - Igneous Petrology and Geochemistry

EARTH4069 - Geo-Problem Solving


Portfolio of individual field-based activities 50%. Report based on group work but with peer review elements and individual assessment 50%;

Main Assessment In: April/May

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


Course Aims

This course aims to develop problem solving and team building skills in the geosciences, and to encourage the acquisition of subject-specific and generic skills relating to the systematic assembly, critical analysis, interpretation, discussion and presentation of factual information and data.  A residential field class aims to develop the students' understanding of geological and environmental hazards and provides an integrated case study which will inform the subsequent project work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Describe and interpret volcanic rocks and propose eruption histories and modes of deposition or emplacement.

■ Distinguish a variety of volcanic and volcano-associated hazards, and explain how hazards are monitored at active volcanoes.

■ Evaluate the role of volcanic emissions on local air and water quality.

■ Appraise soil and rock failure by calculating erosion rates and evaluating rock mass strength.

■ Organise effective teamwork to solve particular problems or tasks by: i) identifying activities, information and resources necessary to solve problems; ii) designing a strategy and timetable that will achieve the required outcome, including assignment of key roles and competencies; iii) adjust objectives, tasks, plans and resources depending on circumstances; and iv) work effectively as a group member.

■ Contribute to the preparation of a single team report evaluating a geological hazards problem in the earth sciences.

■ Critically assess peer contributions to the groupwork

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.