Skip to main content

Unit information: Independent Development of Geology Skills in 2020/21

Unit name Independent Development of Geology Skills
Unit code EASC20046
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Riker
Open unit status Not open

Mandatory units in year 1 of a Geology degree programme at Bristol.



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit enables students to continue to acquire and develop practical skills with rocks samples, fossils, thin sections, geological maps, and related scientific literature and data via an open-access laboratory which students can visit at their convenience over the course of the year.

Observations will be recorded systematically in laboratory notebooks which will become a resource for review, revision and synthesis to support students in the summative exam.

Formative feedback will be given on the notebook during the year and additional formative feedback will be provided via a series of short online (Blackboard) quizzes that students can complete in their own time/order throughout each term.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit you will:

  • Be able to identify and name common rocks, minerals and fossils
  • Have insights into the geology of particular regions of outstanding geological interest via themed collections
  • Be able to reconstruct the geological history of an area from selected specimens, geologic maps, and/or related scientific literature and data
  • Be able to integrate and synthesize geological information from different sources
  • Understand the benefits gained by maintaining a well-organised practical laboratory notebook

Teaching details

This is a learner-driven practical unit carried out in the lazborartiry with synchronous introductory and demonstrator-supported sessions. Students are supported through a series of synchronous online, but if possible face-to-face, weekly help and feedback sessions. Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

Practical exam (100%)

The exam will test different aspects of the unit, and will typically involve a variety of rocks, thin sections and geological maps. Only the course text, Deer, Howie & Zussman's introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals, and the student's IDoGS notebook will be permitted in the exam.

Reading and References


Deer, Howie and Zussman, Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals, (DHZ)