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School of Environment, Education and Development

Students on a field trip
BSc Geography and Geology
Benefit from a wide range of optional topics and practical trips on this combined degree.

BSc Geography and Geology

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Geology Field Course

Unit code EART10012
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


A week’s field course in Devon, which applies the concepts and skills attained in courses EART 10111, 10122, 10131, 10211 and 10232, and provides a basis for future field and coursework.

For many students, this is the first opportunity to spend a week concentrating on geology. It is also for many the first experience of sharing self-catering accommodation. Staff share the same accommodation and provide support throughout the week.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Planet Earth: Its Climate, History and Processes EART10111 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Palaeontology and Sedimentary Rocks EART10141 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


General training in field geology, encountering rock types from Palaeozoic to Tertiary age and with instruction in structural and mapping techniques

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be familiar with:

•       a number of rock types and examples of their field relationships;

•       structural features (bedding-cleavage relationships, way-up criteria);

•       palaeontological features and their significance;

•       extractive procedures for clays and aggregates, and how these are influenced by geological factors

and will be trained in:

•       observation of rock characteristics

•       record keeping and maintenance of a field note book

•       use of compass clinometer and GPS

•       introduction to mapping on topographic (Ordnance Survey) field slips

•       introduction to section logging and recording

and will have developed their skills in:

•       time management in the solution of tasks

•       integration of information from separate sources

•       lateral thinking

•       analysis and synthesis of field data

•       problem solving with incomplete data


Week 1:

•       Coastal locations near Torcross; use of a compass clinometer

•       Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton; graphic logging of sedimentary rocks

•       Dartmoor granite and a ball clay quarry

•       China clay and the granite-country rock contact

•       Devonian limestones; graphic logging

•       Mapping of geology along coast near Torquay.

Assessment methods

Assessment is based upon the following: individual participation (10%), Notebook (40%),Clastic Log (10%), Limestone Log (10%)and Field Map (30%).

Feedback methods

On all field courses, you are encouraged to obtain feedback on your progress in the field by showing your work to staff and discussing your interpretations. Individual and group feedback is provided each day of the course. One-to-one feedback is provided on notebooks after the second day. After the course, detailed feedback is given on notebooks, logs and map assessments.

Recommended reading

Tucker (2003) Sedimentary Rocks in the Field. John Wiley and Sons

Stow (2005) Sedimentary Rocks in the Field: A Colour Guide. Manson Publishing/Academic Press.

McClay (2005) The Mapping of Geological Structures. John Wiley and Sons.

The above three will be useful for later courses.

British Regional Geology: South-West England (HMSO)

Durrance and Laming. (1982) The Geology of Devon. Exeter University Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 2
Practical classes & workshops 60
Independent study hours
Independent study 38

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Raymond Burgess Unit coordinator

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