EARTHSCI 315 : Analytical Skills in Geology


2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A laboratory and field-based course expanding a student’s ability to collect, synthesise and analyse the range of datasets encountered in Earth Sciences, in disciplines such as geochemistry, sedimentology, structural geology and geophysics. Activities focus around a residential geological field-trip, where students develop advanced quantitative field skills in geologically diverse settings, and provide a report synthesising and interpreting their collected data.

Course Overview

A field- and laboratory-based course designed to advance a student’s capacity in data collection and analysis in the range of disciplines in Earth Sciences and Geology. Emphasis is placed on developing transferable digital, quantitative, data gathering and communication skills to prepare students for more professional practice at either a postgraduate level or in the workplace. Studio exercises will often involve analysis of original data collected by the student from remote- and field-based activities, which they will analyse using both geospatial and other analytical software commonly applied in Earth Sciences. Various residential locations will be visited in-person and through virtual media. All observations and data collected from these activities will form the core of a final report investigating past geological processes in the Auckland region.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: EARTHSCI 220, 30 points from EARTHSCI 202, 203, 208, 262 and a Grade Point Average of 5.0 or higher

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Be able to map and interpret geological structures and their formation history from remote data sources (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  2. Be able to collect data both independently and in small groups in the field, and transfer these datasets to digital media (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  3. Analyse quantitatively geological structures to make informed interpretations of their formation mechanisms (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Develop research communications skills through the synthesis of independently collected field data and observations in the form of a written report (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Demonstrate competence in the application of geospatial and quantitative analytical software commonly applied in Earth Sciences (Capability 1 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 10% Individual Coursework
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Reports 60% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5

Special Requirements

Students will be expected to participate in 5 days of residential field trips and on-campus field preparation activities on select weekends and during the mid-semester break.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 33 hours of studios/lectures, 40 hours of field analysis and field-based tutorial, and 47 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including studios and field trips to complete components of the course. Learning activities, in the form of studio exercises, will be available as recordings. The course will not include live online events including group discussions/tutorials. The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable/block delivery, with additional residential field trips.

Learning Resources

No required resources for this course. All necessary resources will be provided in class or online tutorial videos. References for any relevant journal articles, if necessary, will be provided in advance.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. The following activities will also have an on campus / in person option: studios, field trips
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 04/03/2021 12:19 p.m.