This module develops knowledge and understanding of past climates experienced on Earth, primarily by learning about how to interpret climate archives.
There will also be coverage of modern climatology and a distinct focus on periods in the past which may serve as analogues for a warmer future.
The examples are drawn across the Cenozoic (65 Ma to present), but there is also a distinct focus on Pleistocene and Holocene climates and the coursework is focused around such Quaternary examples.
- 2 hours lectures
- 2 hours quizzes
- 1 hour coursework introduction
- 4 hours debates on controversial issues
Coursework is a 3000-word essay. Each student researches a topic in consultation with the module leader leading to a unique essay title related to the module.
The examination is 1.5 hours and consists of two sections:
- Section A is a choice of one from 3 questions which has to be answered in 30 minutes. The three questions are drawn from a list of 12 or 13 questions provided in the lectures
- Section B is a choice of one from two seen essay topics that are announced at the end of the lectures
Coursework and examination are weighted 50% each.
The key skills are engagement with literature at the research frontier and developing both technical knowledge and critical appreciation of data quality and appropriate hypothesis building and testing.