Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module GEOL2191: FIELDWORK (Geological)

Department: Earth Sciences

GEOL2191: FIELDWORK (Geological)

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • GEOL1051, Field Studies


  • GEOL2011 Structural Geology and Tectonics and GEOL2031 Sedimentary Environments.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • GEOL2201Fieldwork (Environmental)


  • To prepare students for their independent fieldwork and related practical classes necessary for their Level 3 dissertation projects.


  • Field Class 1
  • Mapping training and structural geology field class.
  • The construction of geological cross-sections.
  • To improve the ability of students to make three-dimensional interpretations of geological maps.
  • Igneous geology, metamorphic geology and sedimentary geology field class.
  • Appropriate planning and preparation for independent field and related desk studies in dissertations.
  • Field Class 2
  • Mapping training of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.
  • Appropriate planning and preparation for dissertations.
  • Preparation of the dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • General Learning Outcomes
  • To be able to demonstrate independence in geological mapping, data gathering, cross-section construction and synthesising geological data from field and remote sensed data. Independent data gathering and interpretation is paramount.
  • To be able to produce a report accompanied by a geological map and cross-section presenting the data gathered and its interpretation. (This will include field note books and field maps and associated field data). Knowledge of previous work is expected but will not replace or override the interpretation of the independent work presented.
  • Subject Specific Knowledge
  • Advanced field craft including the mapping and recording of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks in the field and use of virtual fieldwork techniques.
  • Field data collection using note books, analysis and interpretation.
  • Consolidation of understanding of geological principles, terms, definitions and classifications at the appropriate level of study.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • After completion of this module students will be able to: collect, record and analyse geological data using appropriate techniques in the field and using desk-based methods.
  • Be able to conduct fieldwork in a safe, efficient and sensitive manner.
  • Conduct the necessary planning and preparation necessary for independent fieldwork and related activities.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills necessary to plan, conduct and report on mix of laboratory and field projects.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills in order to apply geological principles and methodologies to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to observe, record accurately and account for geological features in the laboratory and in the field.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to synthesise information/data from a variety of sources.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to analyse, evaluate/interpret geological data.
  • Will have acquired intellectual skills involved in the preparation and interpretation of geological maps and cross sections from field observations and other sources of information.
Key Skills:
  • Receive and respond to a variety of information sources.
  • Develop skills necessary for self-managed lifelong learning (including independent working, time management).
  • Develop an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.
  • To use appropriate field equipment and techniques to fully understand the geological evolution of an area.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered through attendance on appropriate field classes and associated in-class sessions.
  • Emphasis on "hands on" learning and experience of practical fieldwork and related desk-study skills.
  • Summative assessment will be a combination of marks for notebooks, maps and resulting data analysis e.g. cross-sections, graphic logs, summary reports. There will also be an 'open book' summative test based on notebook content after the Fieldtrip 1 class.
  • Many of these assessments will be awarded during field classes to provide instant feedback to students on their progress giving them opportunity to improve during the fieldwork.
  • Formative assessment - including notebooks and maps - will be made during field classes, practicals and tutorials.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 6 1 Hour 6
Practicals 20 2 Hours 40
Fieldwork 1 1 7 Days 56
Fieldwork 2 1 10 Days 80
Preparation and Reading 18
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Field work 1 50%
Field work 2 50%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment will be during field classes and tutorials.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University