Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module DXX-1006:
Field Course: Making Snowdonia

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Lynda Yorke

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To provide a broad overview of the physical and human processes through which Snowdonia has been formed.
  2. To explore intersecting processes of landscape formation at a range of spatial and temporal scales.
  3. To examine the relationship between global processes and particular places within Snowdonia.
  4. To develop interdisciplinary thinking in relation to environmental issues.
  5. To enable students to make connections between theory and fieldwork.

Course content

This module combines lectures and fieldwork to provide a broad overview of the processes that have given rise to the distinctive features of the Snowdonian landscape. The module focuses on the five key themes of Geology, Ecology, Forestry, Agriculture and Society. Lectures provide a broad overview of the topics and introduce relevant theoretical and conceptual points. The main areas covered will include: underlying geology; glaciation; post-glacial ecology; soil formation; political history of community, private and state forestry; history of human habitation and resource use; the formation and development of the national park. Students will be taken to key sites that demonstrate how these processes interact and relate to particular places.

Assessment Criteria


Grade D- to C+ 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 B- 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 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. Understand the key industrial, ecological, geological and social processes that have produced the distinctive features of the Snowdonian landscape.

  2. Appreciate how different landscape processes interact over a range of spatial and temporal scales.

  3. Demonstrate a critical and analytical attitude to the natural and managed environment.

  4. Interpret key landscape features in relation to relevant theories and methods.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Cwm Idwal Exercise

The short-task is directly related to the virtual field day set in/around Cwm Idwal. It will comprise a basic mapping task and a short written section in response to questions prompting deeping thinking on the origin and development of the site.

COURSEWORK Aber Valley Exercise 15
COURSEWORK Gwydyr Forest Exercise 15
COURSEWORK Conwy Valley Exercise 15
ESSAY Degree specific essay

The essay is directly related to the degree-specific day at the start of the field course. It is worth 40% of the module assessment.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


6*2 hour pre-fieldtrip lectures


5 × 1 day trips (c8 hours). In order to create manageable groups, the class will be split into three groups (of c40 students each). Each day trip will be repeated on three days, enabling groups to rotate between these during the course of the week. By the end of the week, all groups will have attended all trips.

Private study

Private and guided self-study


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
  • Appreciation of the reciprocal nature of human-environmental relationships.
  • Preparation of effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.
  • Understand the provisional nature of information and appreciate competing and alternative explanations.
  • Collect and record data generated by a diverse range of methods.


Resource implications for students

Students will need appropriate clothing for conducting outdoor fieldwork.

Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: