Geology BSc

Independent Geology Dissertation EARTH4079P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

An independent Geology dissertation. Students will co-design a dissertation project in conjunction with staff. They will plan and implement a project consisting of independent research in the form of field, spatial or numerical analysis, modelling, or other research techniques. The dissertation work will commence in the summer between 3rd and 4th year, through semester 1 of 4th year, before submission in early semester 2. They will produce a dissertation which integrates their work to answer a pre-determined geological research question.


The course consists of an independent dissertation conducted pre-sessional, developed during Semester 1, and completed early in Semester 2.

Excluded Courses

EARTH4003 - Independent Geological Mapping

EARTH4079P - Independent Geological Mapping Dissertation (previous version)


Dissertation Report and Supplementary Material (75%)

Poster presentation and talk (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 any combination of field, 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 poster presentation and talk, the research undertaken

■ Critically reflect on their work and progress

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.