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Module DXX-2015:
Field Course: Geography

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Graham Bird

Overall aims and purpose

This module is a week long, UK-based field course, which may contain residential field work. Students will undertake a series of field visits, which explore issues of man's exploitation of the environment, with particular reference to earth resources and other geographical themes. The module aims to provide students with opportunities to apply theoretical and technical methods to the field environment, and to appreciate how natural and socio-economic processes that might be regarded as 'general' are conditioned by the social and environmental character of a specific place. Inherent within the module, students will be required to undertake field study skills in order to make observations and collect quantitative and qualitative data.

Course content

The field course involves field visits and student-led research activities focused on the physical processes that generate earth resources, the environment legacy of resource exploitation and the socio-economic changes that occur (both historically and contemporally) with the development of extractive industries. The module will particularly focus upon the industries that have developed in association with resources of china clay, slate and metals. The field course will also address a range of other geographical themes. The course will involve summatively and formatively assessed group work as well as individually-authored assessment.

Assessment Criteria


Grade C- to B+ The student displays sound knowledge of subject, ability to contribute constructively to debate, ability to write perceptive and well-argued reports. Descriptively presents information in the written assignment and tasks.


Grade D- to D+ The student displays a basic understanding of the principles and basic knowledge of subject. Relevant information is discussed to basic depth the written assignment and tasks. Most of the key issues are identified but there may be some omissions or gaps in understanding. Links between theory and practice are not well developed.


Grade A- and above The student demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of subject and clear ability to pull together various elements of the course material. Evidence of background reading. There are no major areas omitted and the student demonstrates an ability to critically analyse and evaluate relevant information. A clear, concise, descriptive style of presentation in the written assignment and tasks

Learning outcomes

  1. A practical understanding of field-based research methods in human and physical geography.

  2. Demonstrate a critical and analytical understanding of geographical processes occurring in human and physical environments.

  3. Be able to exemplify and assess the impacts of earth resource exploitation on physical and social environments.

  4. Appreciate the reciprocal relationships between natural and human environments.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
GROUP PRESENTATION Group Presentation 10
REPORT Project write-up 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy


1*4 hour presentation session

Private study

Private and guided self-study


5*8 hour days of fieldwork (involving overnight stays away from Bangor)


12 hour and 11 hour lectures


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
  • Conduct fieldwork and/or laboratory work competently with awareness of appropriate risk assessment and ethical considerations
  • Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
  • Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
  • Appreciation of the reciprocal nature of human-environmental relationships.
  • Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.
  • Preparation of effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.


Resource implications for students

For residential fieldwork, the School will pay for bed and breakfast accommodation with students being responsible for purchasing/providing other meals as required.

Talis Reading list

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module