EARTHSCI 752 : Understanding Volcanic Systems


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Understanding how and why volcanoes erupt from magma processes in mantle to eruption at the surface. All tectonic settings and explosive and effusive processes are examined. Volcanic hazards and resource exploration in volcanic terrain is also covered.

Course Overview

This is a fundamental Stage 4 Earth Science course that gives students research-based training in the study of volcanoes. The course provides geologists and other Earth scientists with a skill set for investigating geologic problems in volcanic terranes, including the assessment of hazards; monitoring active and dormant volcanoes; and assessing resources. On the theoretical side, students are introduced to the concepts of magma formation and ascent, and how they are detected. Study includes literature research on particular volcanic topics. Skills acquired include written and oral scientific communication in the form of reports and talks, at a level expected in early career job situations. Knowledge equivalent to a Earth Science major at undergraduate level is assumed.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe and explain the main processes associated with volcanism, and how they are interpreted in relation to global Earth processes (Capability 1)
  2. Demonstrate practical and analytical research skills based on research literature and reporting (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Use the principles and methods of volcanic processes to solve geologic problems such as hazard assessment and resource use in volcanic regions (Capability 3)
  4. Communicate effectively using appropriate language and present information clearly by writing scientific reports and performing oral presentations (Capability 4)
  5. Have intellectual curiosity and work autonomously to solve geologic problems and understand Earth processes on local and global scales (Capability 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Volcanic topic report 18% Individual Coursework
Volcano hazard report 18% Individual Coursework
Student seminar 14% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Volcanic topic report
Volcano hazard report
Student seminar
Final Exam

Special Requirements

Must complete the assignments. Must participate in class discussion sessions during scheduled class time.

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 (120 hours + 30 hours final exam prep), you can expect 24 hours of seminar-based work that includes teacher and student-led instruction. Outside of these formal contact hours, you can expect to spend up to 30 hours of reading and thinking about the content (over 12 weeks); and 66 hours of work on assignments. In addition, you can spend up to 30 hours for final examination preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminars will may not be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning 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.

No recommended text. Literature resources (journal papers) are cited in course.

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.

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.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 26/10/2021 02:48 p.m.