Field Skills and Project Planning for Independent Projects

Description

This module prepares students for independent project work in years 3 and 4 through delivery of training in field methods thorough residential field classes combined with instruction in research project techniques and design. The module includes the following three components.

  1. At the start of semester 1 students will complete a briefing introducing forthcoming fieldwork contents and subsequently commence a six-day trip to the Assynt area of NW Scotland studying the interface between geology and geomorphology. Assessment of the trip will be a combination of evening work and a summary report submitted after the trip.
  2. In the latter half of semester 1 and continuing through semester 2 students will undertake study and analysis of available literature and data relating to proposed independent project work, and development of familiarity with appropriate laboratory- and field-based methods of retrieving and recording data. A summary report will be prepared introducing the project, detailing the proposed methodology, discussing potential problems and outlining a planned programme of study, accompanied by completed Hazard and Risk and Ethical Assessments forms for successful completion of the module.
  3. At the end of semester 2 or into the Easter vacation students will complete an eight-day field course in SW England. Assessment will be through coursework completed on the trip. 

Delivery

Focused around two field courses with associated workshops and tutorials and project planning component comprising:

  • 4 hours of lectures for pre- and on-trip briefings
  • 3 x 2 hour hours of computer cluster based seminars
  • 10 x 1 hour project planning and HRA sessions in computing cluster
  • 4 hour first aid workshop [delivered with other programmes]
  • 1 hour ethics workshop [delivered with other programmes]

Assessment

  • Post-fieldwork Assynt report (2,000 words; 30% of module)
  • Project plan (2,500 word; 40% of module)
  • On trip fieldwork assessments for SW England trip (30% of module)

Compulsory components: students need to complete these elements in order to be permitted to carry out independent fieldwork): 1) First aid course and related MCQ; 2) signed HRA; 3) signed Ethics self-assessment.