KE3007 - Introduction to the study of Earth System Sciences

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about a variety of concepts and debates that have shaped current thinking and research in the Earth System Science. Following an exploration of the subject of geology and physical geography, approaches to investigation, and relationships with other relevant subjects, you will focus on a range of more specific topics, including:
• Earth structure and origin.
• Earth history and geological deep time.
• Evolution of continents and oceans.
• Volcanism & Geohazards, Earthquakes.
• Landscape evolution..

You will develop a deeper appreciation of the interaction between physical and human aspects of the environment. Practical training in the use of datasets as well as data reporting and visualization is provided. These skills are highly sought after during later studies and are a demanded by potential employers.

Completing this module you will have improved your ability to link theory, practice and application, which enhance your employment prospects.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, practical workshops and fieldwork activities. Beyond timetabled sessions, your independent study will be guided and supported through your engagement with a range of interactive learning resources accessible on-line via the module eLP site.

Lectures will be used to introduce and develop key concepts and principles across the range of topics covered on the module; in effect they will act as a framework or scaffolding to support your learning. You will further develop and build your knowledge, understanding, and expertise by engaging with on-line, interactive reading lists made available via the module’s electronic learning platform (eLP). You develop your practical skills in fieldwork activities and practical laboratory classes and workshops. You can enhance your teamwork skills when working in a group during field and laboratory activities.

Formative feedback opportunities in seminars and via the on-line resources will consolidate your learning and help to improve your performance. All involved staff members have an open-door policy and are happy to give you individual feedback upon request.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During laboratory and IT classes and whilst in the field, you will engage in practical activities, interacting closely with teaching staff. Staff will provide direct formative feedback in support of your learning and skills development throughout the semester. You will be able to discuss your progress and plans with group tutors. Their feedback enables you to improve your work and achieve your full potential in the assessment process.

Online resources are available via the module eLP site as additional support. These resources include an interactive reading list with online access to key references and aligned with your lecture programme.

As part of the module assessment, you will undertake a single 24-hour open book, short-answer exam, delivered via the module eLP site. Timely feedback will serve to reinforce your learning and improve your confidence during this relatively early part of your academic career.

Teaching staff operate an ‘open door’ policy for students meaning you can approach them anytime during normal office hours, or via email, to answer questions, receive feedback and support your learning on the module. Please note that due to other commitments, we might need 24 hours to get back to you.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO 1: Identify geohazards, environmental and geological processes and concepts
• MLO 2: learn about factors shaping earth’s surface environments, show a deepened understanding of the interrelatedness of different aspects of Earth Sciences.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 3: Conduct hands-on sampling and learn to take notes.

• MLO 4: Demonstrate key field observational and laboratory-based skills.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
MLO 5: Work effectively as part of a team in the field and the laboratory. Teamwork is vital for most employers, and we focus on this aspect in our training.

How will I be assessed?

You will undertake one on-line 24-hour open book, short -answer exam that will contribute 100% towards the overall module assessment.

The assessment will be delivered via the module eLP site and will be supported by a practice test in order to familiarise you with the test system and types of questions.

Timely feedback will serve to reinforce your learning and improve your confidence during this relatively early part of your academic career. The open book exam will cover all material taught up to the date of the exam.

Working in small groups, you will undertake practical work to incorporate field work, laboratory activities data analysis and presentation skills. During these activities you receive formative support and feedback





Module abstract

This module offers an introduction into Earth System Sciences. The module focuses on key concepts within the Geosciences and the underlying research and evidence underpinning these. Examples of topics explored include, but are not limited to: Earth structure, volcanoes and earthquakes, Earth history and deep time, use of geological resources, identification of basic landforms, sediments, rocks, and the processes that form them. You will develop practical skills relevant in Earth System Science. Teaching involves lectures to introduce and develop key concepts and interactive practical classes and fieldwork activities. Your learning will be further enhanced through engagement with interactive online resources available via the module eLP site. To evaluate your learning progress and activity, the module assessment includes an online 24-hour, open book, short-answers exam. This assessment includes material from taught lectures, field days and lab sessions. You will receive formative support and guidance throughout the assessment process enabling you to achieve your full potential.

Course info

UCAS Code F920

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time study or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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