Module Catalogue 2019/20

GEO1019 : Physical Geography Field Course

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Andrew Russell
  • Lecturer: Dr Ian Stevens, Dr Louise Callard
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Code Title
GEO1020Introduction to Physical Geography
Co Requisite Comment

Students on this module need to be registered for Introduction to Physical Geography which provides the essential subject knowledge for this module.


Fieldwork is an essential part of Physical Geography, which allows us to answer questions about the nature, evolution and management of the physical environment. You will be introduced to Physical Geography fieldwork by using a range of techniques to investigate the processes that have shaped the Blencathra area of the Lake District. Before the field trip, the introductory lecture and two practical sessions will familiarise you with the field area and key techniques you will be using in the field.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is delivered via:
•       An introductory lecture and two practical classes, which will introduce you to the physical geography of the Lake District and the processes that have shaped it. The practicals will familiarise you with your study site and introduce you with surveying techniques, prior to using them in the field. These sessions will also allow you to meet your project groups prior to the field trip. There will also be a drop-in session after the field trip, for any questions relating to the fieldwork report.
•       A residential field trip to Blencathra, Lake District, which will provide you with an overview of the geomorphology and Quaternary history of the region. The trip will be part staff-led and part group project based. You will have an opportunity to work in your groups during the evenings, conducting laboratory analysis of sediments and working-up data. The field trip will finish with a group presentation on the final day.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

• A basic understanding of the relationship between geology, geomorphological processes and the resulting landscape forms.
• Ability to infer both past and current environmental changes by investigation of a range of landforms and sedimentary sequences.
• Knowledge of and ability to select appropriate field techniques addressing a range of Physical Geography research problems.

Intended Skill Outcomes

•       Select and justify appropriate field techniques for a given purpose.
•       Use appropriate field surveying and mapping techniques.
•       Observe and record landform and sedimentary sequences.
•       Work in a group and determine priorities for investigation and delegation of tasks.
•       Give group presentations.
•       Present conclusions based on direct field observations in report form.
•       Write a field notebook.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1151:00151:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical32:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork58:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide introductory material to the module and also to the Physical Geography of the Lake District.
Practicals provide both an introduction to and engagement with a range of essential Physical Geography techniques.
Fieldwork (staff led) will introduce the students to a range of environments practicing observation, note taking and interpretative skills.
Fieldwork (conducted in groups) will give first-hand experience of data collection and analysis using a variety of field techniques. Residential

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation152M20Group presentation at end of field trip
PC Examination602M20Computer aided assessment pre-trip
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M60Individual field report and notebook - 2,400 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The computer aided assessment encourages the students to complete essential reading prior to the field trip. It will test knowledge of the geomorphological history of the Lake District, which the students will need in order to understand and contextualize the tasks carried out during the field course.

Assessed group presentations at the end of the field course encourage students to work-up and synthesise field data and provide an opportunity to present initial findings to peers. These presentations also provide the opportunity for staff and peer feedback.

The individual field report examines student ability to work-up field data in combination with appropriate. Inclusion of the field note books with the report submission encourages student engagement in the essential process of making field notes including the role of independent observation.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.