Field Skills and Project Planning for Geological Field Research


This module prepares students for independent project work in the summer of year 2. The structure of the module is based around a residential field trips and preparation of a project plan. The principal aims of the module are to complete training in (1) advanced field technical and geological skills, (2) field safety and hazard and risk assessment, (3) research ethics and field conduct and (4) to prepare a detailed project plan that includes key scientific targets and field campaign logistics.

Planning for the independent geological field research project is provided through a series of workshops and lectures that deliver instructions and advice on researching and planning for this. This also includes selection of field areas and tutorials with mapping project advisors. The field trip is to SW England where the focus is on data collection and analysis including structural, petrological and sedimentological oriented data collection and analyses.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate that they are capable of carrying out an independent field mapping project;
  • Collect detailed data sets in the field and demonstrate understanding of relevance and use of such data in developing a geological model;
  • Make relevant ethical and health & safety considerations for a field study area;
  • Understand good field conduct and responsible field practices;
  • Will have completed a first aid for geological fieldwork course;
  • Carry out research into the geological background of a proposed field/ study area;
  • Identify scientific targets for study with proposed field area;
  • Develop detailed logistical plan including transport, accommodation and budget;
  • Utilise relevant map resources pertaining to an area for field study.


Data collection and analysis exercises around SW England trip (40%);
Field Research project plan 2500 words (60%);
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.
If any of these components are not completed marks for the module will be withheld and the mapping project cannot proceed. This will result in withdrawal from the course or deferral of year 3.