UCL Module Catalogue


The Earth (GEOL0007)

Key information

Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Teaching department
Earth Sciences
Credit value
This module is available to Earth Sciences and Natural Sciences students only.

Alternative credit options

There are no alternative credit options available for this module.


This course will provide students with an introduction to the Earth, and in particular discuss current research across the field of Earth Sciences and within the department at UCL. We will follow the story of how the Earth was formed, and what it might have been like, 4.6 billion years ago, through the origin of life on Earth, the discovery of plate tectonics, long term climate change and the present day “climate emergency”. This module is suitable for natural science and geoscience students with no previous knowledge of geology and provides an introduction for many other earth science courses. The course aims to develop students' critical thinking and presentation skills in multiple settings, through class discussions, collaborative presentation and individual assignments.

By the end of this module students will have:

  • gained an overview of key topics in the Earth Sciences, including introductions to fundamental principles, concepts and vocabulary;
  • been introduced to current and recent research across multiple fields within Earth Sciences at UCL;
  • learned about the formation and composition of the early and modern Earth, plate tectonics, volcanic hazards, long-term climate change, the evolution of life and “the climate emergency”;
  • developed their written, oral and visual scientific presentation skills;
  • contributed to group discussions and presentations;
  • and begun developing their ability to provide critical feedback for themselves

This module is available to Earth Sciences and Natural Sciences students only.

Module deliveries for 2020/21 academic year

Intended teaching term: Term 1     Undergraduate (FHEQ Level 4)

Teaching and assessment

Mode of study
Delivery includes
Lab Work
Methods of assessment
50% Group Work
50% Coursework (1,000 words)
Mark scheme
Numeric Marks

The methods of assessment for affiliate students may be different to those indicated above. Please contact the department for more information.

Other information

Number of students on module in previous year
Module leader
Dr Andrew Thomson
Who to contact for more information

Last updated

This module description was last updated on 5th March 2020.