Field Geology from the Malvern Hills to the Cotswolds
Level 0 (CQFW Level 3), 10 Credits.
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This highly scenic area spans the boundary between older folded rocks seen in much of Wales, and younger flatter rocks in southern England. Our study includes those from Precambrian to Jurassic age: metamorphics in the craggy Malverns, red desert strata in a cliff on the River Severn, and shelly oolitic limestones (some formerly containing dinosaur bones) in Cotswold quarries. No prior knowledge of geology or the locations is assumed.
Please note that you will need to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements, with meetings times and places to be confirmed.
Topics to be covered:
An appreciation of the strikingly contrasting landforms, and their equally varied underlying geology, across the study area.
The geological history of the area, which spans the last 700 million years, from Late Precambrian times up to the present day. Evidence will be demonstrated in these rocks for episodes of collision and rifting of tectonic plates, for shallow seas, hot deserts and cold tundra, as the crust of the British Isles moved slowly northwards from the southern hemisphere, through the tropics, to its present position.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Anyone enrolling on this course will need to provide their own PPE, as specified below.
- Warm, waterproof jacket and trousers
- Hard hat (tutor can lend to course attendees)
- Strong boots with good tread and ankle support.
Who is this course for?
Anyone who has, or wishes, to develop an interest in practical geology.
Learning and Teaching
Field trips spread across four days with an emphasis on practical observation and recognition of significant features. 20 contact hours.
Students will be taught the basics of geological science, and the geology (including landforms) of the study area firstly through background reading of the handout forwarded to them in advance of the course (includes text, maps and descriptive annotated sketches); they will then be shown many of the aspects described in the handout in the field, having the handout available at all times for reference. Field skills will be taught during the course, including how to observe and record, how to sample good reference specimens, and to be aware of and act on, key aspects of geological conservation and safety.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
- Whitten with Brooks. 1974. A Dictionary of Geology. Penguin.
- Kearey. 1996. The New Penguin Dictionary of Geology. Penguin.
- Mondadori. 1977. The Macdonald Encylopaedia of Rocks and Minerals. Macdonald.
- Geological Museum. 1978. Britain before Man. HMSO.
- British Museum (Natural History). 1969. British Palaeozoic Fossils. London.
- British Museum (Natural History). 1972. British Mesozoic Fossils. London.
- Fitter & Ray. The Seashore. Collins.
- Hunter & Easterbrook. 2004. The Geological History of the British Isles. The Open University.
- Chidlaw. 2000. A Commentary of Geology and Scenery in the West of England by AE Trueman. Allegro Publishing.* (Available from author.)
- Earp and Haines. 1971. The Welsh Borderland. HMSO.
- Bullard. 1989. Malvern Hills. Nature Conservancy Council.
- Green. 1992. Bristol and Gloucester Region. HMSO.
- Dreghorn. 1967. Geology Explained in the Severn Vale and Cotswolds. David and
- Vaughan. Cotswold Dinosaur Excavation. Geology Today vol. 150. Sept-Oct 1988*.
- Savage (ed). 1977. Geological Excursions in the Bristol District. University of Bristol.
* ‘Easy-reads’ for the newcomer to geology.
The following allows you to correlate published British Geological Survey maps with satellite images (‘Google Earth’) of the British Landscape: http://maps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyviewergoogle/googleviewer.html
Please note that it is not essential that attendees on this course read any of the publications listed in order to complete the course successfully.
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.