Hillslope Geomorphology GEOG4108

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of hillslope geomorphology. It will explore the range of processes that operate to generate and transport hillslope sediments and modify hillslope morphology, at a variety of temporal and spatial scales. The course will emphasise hillslopes as sources of hazard through mass movement processes, and link them to environmental triggers.


Course will run weekly in in the first half of Semester 1 and consist of 6 Lectures, 2 Labs and a 1 Day Field Class

Requirements of Entry

Fulfilment of entry requirements to Level 3 Geography, or Earth Sciences

Students will require basic mathematical competence, including basic calculus and algebra, however mathematical concepts will be introduced and explained throughout.

Excluded Courses





Summative assessment will consist of a guided report (1500 words) based on the field class and laboratories (50%), and a 1500 word essay (50%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

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

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. 

Course Aims

This aims of this course are:

■ To introduce students to the fundamentals of hillslope processes

■ To provide understanding of hillslope hydrology and its importance for geomorphic processes

■ To develop knowledge of the processes by which soil, rock and regolith are transported downslope

■ To assess the factors that lead to hillslope instability and mass movements

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Provide a detailed account of the processes controlling hillslope morphology

■ Quantify hillslope processes in terms of mass conservation

■ Perform topographic analysis of hillslope hydrology, slope stability and landslide runout

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.