UCL Earth Sciences

GEOLGG10 Tectonic Geomorphology

GEOLGG10 Tectonic Geomorphology

This MSc provides an introduction to geohazards, research methods and field techniques, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology.


To provide students with an holistic appreciation of how key geological, physical and chemical processes interact and combine to shape the Earth system in terms of climate, landscape evolution, and tectonic processes.


Knowledge and Understanding:

  • an holistic understanding of processes and systems that combine to influence the Earth’s geological, atmospheric and chemical evolution;
  • tectonics and landscape development;
  • feedback systems between geological processes and climate;
  • understanding of the processes and controls that govern landscape evolution.

Intellectual Outcomes:

  • critical evaluation of current and competing ideas of geodynamic processes, topographic development, landscape evolution and climate change;
  • analysis and synthesis of these separate lines of investigation into global models.

Practical and Transferable Outcomes:

  • effective use and evaluation of scientific databases;
  • effective communication of information in writing;
  • skills in writing, comprehension of scientific data and papers, mathematical calculation, manipulation of data using relevant software/research techniques, independent study, IT skills.


The lectures and practicals are designed to provide understanding of the linkages between tectonics, surficial processes and climate by learning how landscapes can be mapped and the methods used to detect, date and define rates of landscape change

Main topics include:

  • The role of denudation, uplift and isostasy;
  • Methods and applications of terrain analysis;
  • Erosion and landscape change over the short to long-term;
  • Applications of relative and absolute dating methods;
  • The nature of climate - tectonic interactions;
  • How mountain belts evolve;
  • Passive margin evolution;
  • Developing models of landscape evolution.

Detailed notes will be provided as pdf files for each lecture and practical exercise. 

Title Tectonic Geomorphology
Coordinator Dr Andy Carter (Birkbeck)
Other Contributors  
Normal Level  
Term 1
Credit 0.5 CU
Written Exam 70%
Coursework 30%
Pre-Requisites Normally GEOL1004 Dynamic Earth
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement  
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes Practical exercises will accompany most lectures and will take ~15 hours. Each exercise will have a model answer to permit independent work.
Hours of Tutorials 0
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other None
Annual Monitoring download pdf
Categorizing Student Performance Levels download pdf
Moodle page Moodle page