ESC-10076 - Stratigraphy and Palaeontology
Coordinator: Michael Montenari Room: WSF10A Tel: +44 1782 7 33162
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

In this module you will learn the principles of stratigraphy and gain an understanding of the palaeobiological and evolutionary development on Planet Earth. You will also learn the terminology, nomenclature and classification of the main fossil groups and how fossils can be used to date rocks and indicate their environment of formation. Field courses will introduce you to the collection and documentation of geological information in the field, including how to make a geological map, which is an important skill that you will develop throughout the course of your degree.

This module provides an introduction to the principles of stratigraphy as well as the palaeobiological and evolutionary developments on Planet Earth, including the evolution of the atmosphere. It also introduces students to the identification of the principal fossil groups and how fossils can be used to date rocks and indicate their environment of formation.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

explain the principles of stratigraphy, and apply and evaluate the major stratigraphical methods: 1,2,3
describe the palaeobiological evolution of the Earth and the development of the atmosphere through time: 1,2,3
describe the history of life on Earth, and identify, classify and describe the main fossils groups that are preserved within the geological record: 1,2,3
measure and record field geological information, and make basic interpretations in the field of past geological environments based on the relationships between different rock types and the fossils they contain: 3

Study hours

Active Learning:
22 hrs Lecture / Lecture equivalent
33 hrs Practical
24 hrs Fieldwork
Independent Study:
71 hrs private study/assignment completion

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Class Test weighted 33%
Class tests based on material covered in lectures and practical classes
Two class tests, each of two-hours duration, on the stratigraphy and palaeontology components of the module consisting of short answer questions.

2: Laboratory Practicals weighted 34%
Laboratory notebooks
Submission of laboratory practical notebooks containing descriptions/observations, including diagrams and sketches, of material covered during practical classes.

3: Practice Based Assessment weighted 33%
Field course portfolio
A portfolio of material (equivalent to a 1500-word report) associated with the field courses, including field observations, structural and stratigraphic exercises, geological mapping and field hazard/risk assessment.