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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Practical Geochemistry and Data Analysis (EASC10103)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will provide an overview of a range of geochemical tools used on GeoSciences, and will provide practical hands-on experience of the procedures required to produce geochemical data. The course will also provide training in the use of computer programming and its application to data analysis using geochemical examples. The course will develop students' ability in generation and testing of scientific hypotheses and in the communication of scientific findings through report writing.
Course description The PGDA course has three components: a section which introduces data processing using the Python programming language, in semester 1; a section on geochemical theory, also in semester 1; and finally in semester 2 there is a geochemical data project where students will collect data and use existing datasets to address a geoscientific question of their own choosing.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Geomaterials (EASC08021) AND Earth Modelling and Prediction 2 (EASC08018) AND Global Tectonics and the Rock Cycle (EASC08020) OR Environmental Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (EASC08024)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students may have passed an equivalent of Earth Modelling and Prediction 2 (EASC08018)
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 13, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 1, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 39, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 142 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment details
Written Exam 0%
Coursework 100%
Practical Exam 0%
Additional Information (Assessment)
100% Coursework
- Short Form Geochemistry theory questions 30%
- Programming Test 25%
- Independent Mini Project 45%

Assessment Deadlines
- Take home (semester long) short form questions and journal article summary (sem1) 12 noon Thursday week 11
- Programming test (sem1) 12 noon Friday week 11
- Independent mini project (sem2) 12 noon Thursday week 8 No extensions are allowed for this assessment as the deadline already includes time to account for potential laboratory delays and feedback from this assessment of required for future assessments on another course
Feedback Feedback on the programming aspect of the course will be provided during the practical sessions, and online.

Feedback on geochemical theory will be provided in tutorial sessions and via Q&A hosted on a Learn discussion forum.
Feedback on the analytical project hypotheses constructions and write up will be via a set of tutorials in semester 2.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop an understanding of the fundamental science that underpins a range of inorganic geochemistry tools for Earth Scientists
  2. Appreciate the processes that are required to extract accurate geochemical data from natural samples
  3. Acquire skills in computer programming
  4. Develop an understanding of a range of data processing/analysis techniques and the ability to determine suitable data analysis approaches to test hypotheses
  5. Be able to identify suitable scientific objectives that can be addressed with geochemical measurements, and suitable data analysis
Reading List
William M. White. (n.d.). Geochemistry.
Francis Albar├Ęde. (2009). Geochemistry: An Introduction (Second edition..). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hugh R. Rollinson (Hugh Richard), 1949-. (1993). Using geochemical data: evaluation, presentation, interpretation. Harlow: Longman Scientific & Technical.
John C. Davis. (2002). Statistics and data analysis in geology (Third edition..). New York; Chichester: John Wiley.
Steve McKillup. (2010). Geostatistics Explained: An Introductory Guide for Earth Scientists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ellam Rob. (2016). Isotopes: A Very Short Introduction (1st ed., p. 152).
David. Waltham. (2000). Mathematics: a simple tool for geologists (Second edition..). Oxford: Blackwell Science.
Essential maths for geoscientists: an introduction. (2014). Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
Tom Scott. (n.d.). One simple interview question. YouTube.

Additional Journal articles will be provided for relevant lectures
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsGeomaterials,Evolution of the Living Earth,Earth Modelling and Prediction
Course organiserDr Alex Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8749
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
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