There has never been a more critical time for students to understand the causes and potential consequences of Earth’s changing climate. The context for understanding the global warming of today lies in the records of the Earth’s past. This module will put key data and published case studies of past climate change at students’ fingertips, so you can experience the nature of paleoclimate reconstruction. Students will evaluate data, practice developing and testing hypotheses and infer the broader implications of the scientific results. How we know is as important as what we know about past climate. This module is inquiry based and departs from the traditional lecture based format.


Campus based, inquiry-led, multi-part exercises. Supported by pre-class availability of Panopto recorded lectures.  Includes additional hours of guided independent study.


The module assessment is 100% coursework. There is no exam. 

Assessment: Each week will have three sessions. 

The first session (1 hour) is typically designed to introduce a topic and gauge prior knowledge and give formative tasks (building on a Panopto lecture, where appropriate). Some formative exercises may be set as guided independent study. Group work and discussion is facilitated. 

The second and third sessions (2 hours) are a more in-depth exploration of the topic, culminating in another practical task. Of these sessions, 5 will form the summative assessment (around every other week over 10 weeks). 

Weighting is based on the four best assessments by each student, 20% for each assessment. Total 80%. 

The additional 20% is based on a 1,000-word popular science article/ press release or podcast (on a recent Ocean Drilling Expedition).