Introductory Field and Research Skills


This module will develop your skills in Earth Science research and field methods. The tutorial and campus-based components will develop your ability to research scientific literature and write a scientific report on a topic relevant to individual programs.

The field component of the module aims to help you develop high-quality field skills. This is usually done via a residential field trip to Northern Ireland in Week 6 of Semester 1 and is supported by other campus-based activities. Field training relates to the identification of rock types, the distinction and recognition of adjacent rock units and their relationships, the quantitative measurement of bedding structures and understanding the significance of their relationships, sedimentary and structural logging methods, and an introduction to 1:10,000 geological and geomorphological mapping.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Research Earth Sciences topics and find relevant journal papers using a variety of methods (including e-library and online databases, such as Web of Science).
  • Understand the concept and definition of scientific hypotheses and how to form them.
  • Critically evaluate sources of information and structure a reasoned argument.
  • Complete a critical review in written (essay) form.
  • Recognise and identify a variety of common rocks.
  • Recognise and interpret various kinds of geological contacts and structures
  • Systematically record geological data.


  • 2,000 word tutorial essay
  • Post-field trip reports