The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


GEOS2080 exposes students to a broad range of skills required by professional Earth Scientists and Geologists. Topographic map and aerial photo interpretation are covered and basic geometric and surveying principles are introduced. Field investigations are used to illustrate how these skills are applied. There are two field components to the course. The major field component of the course deals with the interpretation of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, the mapping of igneous plutons and metamorphic sequences, the production of stratigraphic logs and the preparation of a detailed field report including the presentation of geological and environmental data. Another component covers geometric and surveying principles, as well as local sedimentology and stratigraphic interpretation.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Develop field skills required by professional Earth Scientists and Geologists

2. Develop the skills to observe basic and complex topographical and geological relationships and record data in a field setting.

3. Understand basic field geometric and surveying principles

4. Develop the skills to measure, record, present and interpret structural geological data.

5. Learn to identify rocks and minerals from hand specimens.

6. Learn to identify geological processes and interpret environments from detailed field and geological observations.

7. Develop the skills to produce geological maps and stratigraphic logs from field observations.

8. Learn to present geological and environmental information in the form of a scientific report.

9. Develop the skills to assess risks associated with different activities associated with the professional practice as Earth Scientists and Geologists.


The course material will be in the form of introductory and background lectures and exercises where a number of the field skills will be covered. These will be demonstrated during the field trip. Core skills will include compass traverse, surveying, stratigraphic logging and map interpretation where students will be required to complete a number of exercises. The field trip will be undertaken where the mapping and surveying skills will be applied with students producing a report on an area, including a detailed map, cross-sections, and stratigraphic and structural interpretations. As part of this course an introduction to the geology of the local area will be provided.


Students must have successfully completed GEOS1050 to enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

GEOS1040 Earth's Dynamic Systems and GEOS1050 Earth Processes and Products.

Assessment items

Report: Excursion report

In Term Test: Open book practical examination

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Practical: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory fieldwork induction.

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 40 hour(s) per Term Full Term

NOTE: The Course requires the attendance at field trip.


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 8 hour(s) per Term Full Term

2 hours per week for 4 weeks.


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks