UCL Earth Sciences

GEOLGG18 Palaeoclimatology

GEOLGG18 Palaeoclimatology

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 a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of and responses to Palaeoclimate - climate change through geological history, with special emphasis on understanding the processes which shaped the surface of the Earth (past and present), which control the environments we are living in and which contribute significantly to our understanding of how life evolved.


The students should be able to:

  • recognize and understand palaeoclimate - climate signals in the geological record and in recent climate archives;
  • know how to critically evaluate and interpret these data;
  • know how to assess these data for their impact on Earth’s systems, surface processes, environmental change, evolution of life, and modern society.


Palaeoclimate studies provide direct evidence of how the climate system changes through time, including its responses to unprecedented changes in its control. This course explores the basic climatic responses of Earth’s major systems and subsystems (ice, water, air, vegetation and land), and traces their interactions through time. The range and causes of past natural climatic variability, the past sensitivity of the climate systems to various forcing, variations in climate feedbacks through time, and the responses of ecosystems and human societies to past climate variability will be presented and discussed within major themes, e.g. tectonic-scale change, the sedimentary response, orbital- , deglacial -, and millennial- scale changes, historical and future change.

Title Palaeoclimatology
Coordinator Prof. Juergen Thurow
Other Contributors Dr. Heather Cheshire
Normal Level  
Term 2
Credits 15
Written Exam 65% (unseen two and a half hour written exam)
Coursework 20% (four practical assignments)
Oral Presentation 15%
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement None
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes 20 hours
Hours of Tutorials As needed
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other Students give 15 minute oral presentations of their essay topics.
Annual Monitoring download pdf
Categorizing Student Performance Levels download pdf
Moodle page Moodle page