Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Research Training for Geophysics (EASC09055)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryTrained scientists need a variety of skills. The aim of this course is to provide a number of these skills before the students begin work on their individual research projects in the SH year. A major component of the course is a group project which will continue from one year to the next. Projects are provided to cover a range of interests. In particular, meteorology or climate projects will be provided for students on the Geophysics+Meteorology degree. Projects in previous years have included:
- A detailed gravity survey of Edinburgh
- Analysis of a global earthquake database
- Fourier techniques for potential field datasets
- A micrometeorology survey of the Kings Buildings campus
- Airflow over hills (modelling and field measurements)
- Analysis of a marine seismic survey
- Construction of a radiation-balance climate model

In addition to the group project, the course covers a variety of research-related skills including the production of scientific research documents, the use of the scientific literature, the presentation of research at meetings and conferences etc.

The course also includes a substantial component on ethics.
Course description **May be subject to change

S1 Week 1 Working in a group (Careers Service)
S1 Week 2 Introduction to course and to group projects. Summary of each project from supervisors. The nature of the research literature. Referencing and how to do it properly. Use of Web of Knowledge and citation searches. Introduction to literature review exercise and talk. Assignment of papers to be reviewed.
S1 Week 3 Typesetting skills. Use of LaTeX. Common pitfalls in presentation of scientific documents.
S1 Week 4 Scientific writing. The conventions that people tend to stick to. What makes good scientific writing and what makes bad scientific writing?
S1 Week 5 Giving presentations. What makes a good (and a bad) presentation.

S1 Week 6 Figures in scientific documents. What makes a good figure? What makes a bad figure? How to avoid common mistakes.
S1 Week 7 Deadline for literature review. Class time held in reserve
S1 Week 8 Student practice presentations: part 1
S1 Week 9 Student practice presentations: part 2
S1 Week 10 Simple use of GIS
S1 Weeks 5-10 Work on group projects

S2 Weeks 2--3 (provisional) Ethics
S2 Weeks 1-9 Work on group projects
S2 Week 10 Group presentations on group projects
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Physics of the Earth (EASC08016)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 30, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 134 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework - 100%
Assessment will consist of:
- Report on group project (8 credits, 40%)
- Group presentation on group project (2 credits, 10%)
- Ethics section, assessed by in-class participation and a short presentation (4 credits, 20%)
- Literature review (6 credits, 30%)

For further information on deadlines, please refer to the learn page.

Assessment Deadlines
- Literature Review Semester 1, Week 7 (Thursday)(submit online via Turnitin)
- Ethics Semester 2, Week 3 (Note, there are no hand-ins. Students are required to attend ALL ethics classes as they are marked for in-class participation.)
- Group Presentation - Semester 2, Week 10 (TBC. Usually Wednesday.)
- Report on Group Project Semester 2. Week 11 (Monday) (submit online via Turnitin)
Feedback The non-assessed individual presentations in S1 will provide feedback that will be useful for the assessed group presentation at the end of S2.

The literature review is assessed, but the feedback on this will be relevant to the individual reports on the group projects.

Each group project will be supervised by a staff member who will give feedback on progress during regular group meetings.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Work collaboratively in a group
  2. Be familiar with the scientific literature and how it works
  3. Understand some of the ethical issues that affect the conduct of scientific research
  4. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the practicalities of a research technique of interest
Reading List
Day, RA and B Gastel, 2006. (6th edition - or more by now) 'How to write and publish a scientific paper'

Ethics-related reading material referred to in the Appendix (mainly hand-outs).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Group work, research and writing skills, awareness of ethical issues
Course organiserDr Hugh Pumphrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 6026
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information