KE5021 - Applied Geosciences

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about the acquisition and application of geoscientific data to resource exploration and research issues. The module will explore a range of topics including:
• Sedimentary rocks and palaeoenvironmental interpretations
• Geological resources; exploration, extraction and reserves
• Biostratigraphy and the uses of fossil data
• Interpretation of geological data: biostratigraphical, sedimentological, structural and maps
• Earth history and events that formed economic reserves
• Geoheritage and the educational importance of geological sites

In addition to learning about how geosciences data can be utilised, you will develop your practical skills and abilities in the identification and interpretation of rock and fossil assemblages and your ability to use a geological map to understand subsurface structure. On fieldwork you will develop practical geological skills and experience concepts presented in the lectures. This module will also develop your ethical concern for resource management giving you a deeper understanding of current debates around energy production and resource reserves.

On completion of the module, your improved ability to link theory, practice and application will serve to enhance your future employment prospects.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, 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 issues, 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 then further develop and build your knowledge, understanding and expertise on fieldwork and by engaging with on-line, interactive reading lists made available via the module’s electronic learning platform (eLP).

You will develop your practical skills through participation in local fieldwork activities and during interactive practical classes where you will have access to rock and mineral specimens, and to on-line map resources available via the open source section of the British Geological Society website. Once again, you will be able to enhance your practical skills by engaging with interactive resources made available via the module eLP site.

Formative feedback opportunities in practicals and on fieldwork will consolidate your learning as well as helping to improve your performance in the module assessments.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During practical classes and whilst on fieldwork, you will engage in small group activities, interacting closely with teaching staff. Your class materials will be further supported by on-line resources available via the module eLP site. These resources include an interactive reading list with on-line access to a number of key articles and aligned with your weekly lecture programme. In a similar manner, your practical classes are supported by a ‘virtual learning’ resource to enhance your skills in rock and fossil identification. As formative assessment, you will have the opportunity to undertake a series of on-line, multiple choice question (MCQ) tests, delivered via the module eLP site. These are designed to support your independent learning by identifying topics where you might be struggling. 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.

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: Interpret palaeoenvironments from sedimentary rocks and fossils demonstrating a clear understanding of sediments, organisms and their environments.
• MLO 2: Appraise and describe the geological resources associated with sedimentary rocks and summarise means for extraction and resource management.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO3: Apply the identification of sedimentary rocks and fossils to evaluate finding and utilizing geological resources.
• MLO 4: Produce detailed field observations that justify the interpretation of palaeoenvironments.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO 5: Assess the implications of finite resources and current societal demands through informed understanding of the processes that have generated geological resources.

How will I be assessed?

In semester 1 you will undertake practical classes, in these you will develop your abilities to identify and interpret sedimentary rocks, fossils and geological maps. These practicals will culminate in an assessed practical that will bring all of these skills together to evaluate a potential geological resource. This will comprise 50% of the module mark. The practical assessment will assess MLOs 1, 2, 3 and 5.

In semester 2, you will undertake geological fieldwork in the local area. During these field trips you will make detailed observations of the sedimentary rocks and use these to draw interpretations of local geological resources. You will be assessed on your portfolio of field observations, independent desk study and interpretations. You will submit a brief report and presentation outlining the potential resource and the prospects of extraction/utilisation. You will have the opportunity for formative feedback in the field on your work. This assessment is worth 50% of the module mark. The field portfolio will assess MLOs 1, 2, 3 and 4.


KE4000 Introduction to the Physical Environment
KE4006 Dynamic Earth



Module abstract

This module will give you a firm understanding of geological resources. Oil, gas, coal, water and precious metals are integral to modern society, in this module you will learn how these resources form, how they can be found, if they are suitable for extraction and the ethical concerns around their extraction. You will gain knowledge and skills in the identification and interpretation of sedimentary rocks and fossils that will enable you to identify geological resources and make informed statements on societal demands for them. Through practical classes and field trips you will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in these skills and the concepts presented in lectures. The module will be research-rich: with lectures supported by peer-reviewed studies and practical classes and field trips promoting you to develop your research enquiry skills.

Course info

UCAS Code F840

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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