Environmental Geoscience BSc

Earth Science 1B EARTH1002

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course is designed to build on EARTH1001 and begins to focus on geological and environmental processes occurring throughout the Earth, the concept of geological time, and associated hazards and extreme events. Topics include: the structure of the Earth and plate tectonics, the origin of life and use of the fossil record to understand past climates, environments and tectonic processes, and past, present and future climate change. These topics are underpinned by hazards associated with these processes, human interactions, and practical skills in Earth visualisation and problem solving.


Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday - 9.00 am; weekly laboratory; one day of fieldwork(optional).

Excluded Courses



EARTH 1001


One 60-minute examination at the end of the teaching period (40%), essay (30%) and online assessments (30%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

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.


The sole exception for EARTH1002 is the fortnightly in-class assessment. 

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to:

■ Synthesise information on geological processes occurring deep within the Earth, concepts of geological time, how the Earth has evolved and continues to do so in the future, and associated hazard and human interactions

■ Investigate the development of life on Earth and its relationship to geological processes

■ Investigate past, present and future change of the Earth

■ Develop skills in interpreting 3D geodata to reconstruct geological and environmental histories, and challenges to be addressed today and in the future by Earth Scientists.

■ Develop written communication skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

■ Explain the formation and structure of the Earth and other planets and the supporting evidence behind the theory of plate tectonics, and associated hazards

■ Explain the principles and consequences of deformation of rocks in terms of faults, folds, and geological histories

■ Explain the processes behind major events in the evolution of the solid Earth and life, including demonstrating the use of fossils and proxies in reconstructing environments, climate change and plate tectonics

■ Explain anthropogenic climate change, including past, present and future climate modelling and data analysis, and associated hazards

■ Analyse maps, cross sections and models in 3D to explain the structure and history of regions, and their use in applied geological and environmental problems

■ Research a topic in Earth Science and produce a concise written report.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Normally, attendance at online tutorials as well as 75% completion of fortnightly assessments and 75% total submission of assessments.