Short Courses in Field Geology
The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences is delighted to offer exciting and instructional short courses in Field Geology which are open to anyone with an interest in improving their field training and pursuing Continued Professional Development (CPD) in Geology.
We welcome applications from UK, EU or overseas-based parties, registered student or professional.
There are four annually-run courses to choose from, each of which forms part of the University of St Andrews Geology BSc undergraduate degree programme.
The courses we offer are:
Geology of Scotland and its Economic Earth Resources
Dates 14 March 2015 – 20 March 2015
Fundamental field skills training in Earth sciences focused on a variety of geological environments and applied Earth science spanning the Scottish Highlands. This trip is five days in duration.
Typical class size is 50-60 1st year undergraduate students, with 3 members of staff, including Dr Richard Bates.
To gain a better understanding of what the course involves, please download the day-by-day itinerary for the March 2011 field excursion.
A copy of a student’s field note book from the 2009-2010 “Highland Fling” is also available to view.
Cost £700 (GBP)
Geology of Spain
Dates 14 March 2015 – 21 March 2015
Development of stratigraphic and mapping techniques to reconstruct palaeoenvironments and the Hercynian-Alpine tectonic evolution of central Spain. This trip is one week in duration.
Typical class size is ~30 2nd year undergraduate students, with 3 members of staff, including Dr Ruth Robinson.
To get a better feel for the trip pleasedownload the introductory document for the March 2014 trip.
Cost to be confirmed
New for 2015! Rio Tinto Environmental Earth Sciences
Dates 21 March 2015- 26 March 2015
The overall goal of this trip is for you to understand how surficial environments are controlled by geology, chemistry, mineralogy and biology. Specifically, you will learn to make and record field observations that will allow you to assess the main factors contributing to acid mine drainage, its effects, as well as its long-term consequences. This trip is 6 days in duration.
Typical class size is ~30 2nd year undergraduate students, with 3 members of staff, including Dr Nick Tosca.
To get a better feel for the trip please download the field guide from the March 2014 trip.
Geology of the NW Highlands
Mull and Ullapool. Anticipated dates Ullapool 3 April 2014 – 12 April 2014, Mull 12 April 2014 – 20 April 2014
Examination of structural geometries of the classic Moine thrust fault system, the Lewisian Archaean terrane, and the metamorphic and igneous history of the lithospheric fragment comprising the Hebridean islands of Mull and Iona. This trip is two weeks in duration.
For a better understanding of what the course involves, please download the information leafletfor the April 2012 field excursion. You may also wish to view the first day’s field notes of one of our third year students.
Cost £2,000 (GBP)
Geology of the western European Alps
Italy and Switzerland, arrival Milan 18 August 2014, departure from Milan 30 August 2014.
Exploration of the tectono-thermal evolution of the Alpine orogeny including studies of high-grade metamorphism, deformationmechanisms, uplift and exhumation processes revealed in the Alpine molasse and Mesozoic palaeontology. This trip is two weeks in duration, travelling in Italy and Switzerland. Note that accommodation for this course is camping in several locations. We will provide camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat)if you do not have your own, but please remember to bring warm clothing.
Typical class size is ~20 4th year undergraduate students, with 3 members of staff, including Dr Tony Prave.
To gain a better understanding of what the trip involves, please view the day-by-day itinerary for the September 2011 field excursion.
Cost £2,500 (GBP)
- We encourage applicants to plan on arriving at least one day before the start of the course. It can allow for meeting staff, recovery from overseas travel, enjoying some of the highlights of this ancient town, and generally relaxing.
- Each year, the excursions will run on similar dates.
- On each excursion, we work a full 8-hour day, each day. Most evenings include informal discussions on the geology encountered that day.
- Download the FLYER
Health and Safety Note
All excursions are subject to a risk assessment. You are required to read, sign and return the University of St Andrews Safety Code for Fieldwork form. More information about safety can be found in the Field Mapping Handbook (available shortly).
St Andrews prides itself in providing a supporting environment for its students and staff. The University embraces a positive attitude towards the promotion of equality and diversity, and takes pride in its efforts to create a working, educational and social atmosphere, inclusive of everyone regardless of ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, gender or sexual orientation.
Anyone with a disability is encouraged to discuss any potential problems in participating in any field excursion with Jen Chambers before applying. All enquiries regarding disabilities will be dealt with on an individual basis.
All participants must show evidence of having purchased travel insurance that includes medical cover (e.g. repatriation), which is also required for any visa application.
English language requirements
To fully participate in and benefit from these courses, participants should be able to communicate in English. If required, pre-field trip English courses may be available at the University of St Andrews via the English Language Teaching Centre (ELT).
Notebooks and field maps will be reviewed before the participant departs for home. All participants will be expected to submit a report, including field maps, following the excursion, in order to strengthen professional scientific writing, analytical and presentation skills, and consolidate material learnt. Example reports and field books may be viewed in the details section for each trip. The report will be assessed and returned with personal feedback. We also recommend that participants report back to their home institution with either a formal or informal presentation of their experience.
This course will not allocate credits on any undergraduate or postgraduate programme, but a certificate will be issued to demonstrate satisfactory completion of the course.
Geology of Scotland and its Economic Earth Resources, Anticipated dates 13 March 2014 – 21 March 2014: £700 (GBP)
Geology of Spain, anticipated dates 13 March 2014 – 23 March 2014: £1,500 (GBP)
Geology of the NW Highlands (Mull and Ullapool), anticipated dates Ullapool 3 April 2014 – 12 April 2014, Mull 12 April 2014 – 20 April 2014: £2,000 (GBP)
Geology of the western European Alps, arrival Milan 18 August 2014, departure from Milan 30 August 2014: £2,500 (GBP)
Travel from/to St Andrews to the Scottish field trip destinations is included in the above costs, as well as three nights accommodation in St Andrews (2 nights before and 1 night after the excursion).
These prices do NOT cover:
- travel to and from your home destination to St Andrews
- accommodation required in St Andrews
We can arrange to meet a participant in Milan, Italy or Madrid, Spain for the Geology of the European Alps and the Geology of Spain trips respectively. Regardless, you will be responsible for booking your own flights for these courses.
Any other costs such as student/visitor visa costs, travel insurance or any pre-field trip courses (eg: IELTS) are NOT included in these prices.
If you do not have funds to cover these costs in full, please contact Jen Chamberswith an expression of your interest and an indication of your financial feasibility.
Once a place on a course is allocated, undergraduate and graduate students will apply for a Student Visitor Visa, although they will not be a matriculated student here.Applicants must be over 18. Once a place is allocated documentation will be supplied that stipulates an applicant’s participation in a 2/3 week field excursion. Expected length of stay is no more than one month and participants must exit the UK on completion of this course.
Any participants requiring a visa for the UK should also ensure they have a visa for each field trip’s final destination, ie: Switzerland/Italy for the Alps and Spain for the Sierra Norte de Madrid. A separate Schengen visa should be applied for in the applicant’s home country.
It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure visa applications and requirements are begun well in advance of the field trip.
All notes of interest should be forwarded to Jen Chambers in the first instance.
The application form should be completed and returned as soon as possible, and at least 3 months before the relevant field course. This should include a reference from an advisor of studies or line manager as applicable, and copies of English Language Qualifications/proficiency if English is not a participant’s first language. We also require proof of travel, travel insurance and visas.
Places are strictly limited and will be allocated on a first-come/first-served basis. Please therefore be aware that some field excursions will become booked up very quickly, and whilst a waiting list system will be in operation, we cannot guarantee every applicant a space. These trips will run every year, however, so a place may be allocated on a subsequent year if possible. Applicants are encouraged to complete and return forms well in advance of any excursion.
Payment via an online system is expected in full two months before an excursion takes place, and proof of travel, insurance and visas must be forwarded to the Department as soon as they become finalised. Please be aware that timescales may require that you pay in full before a visa application is fully processed; if, for whatever reason, a visa is declined, please see our refund policy detailed below. Receipt of payment and a confirmation letter will be sent out once full payment is received..
Up to one month before excursion:
If, for whatever reason, a participant is no longer able to take advantage of their place, a partial refund will be paid. Please be aware there will be a £50 GBP administrative fee deducted, and any airfare costs will be non-refundable (airlines operate on a non-exchangeable and non-refundable policy).
Within one month of excursion:
If, for whatever reason, a participant is no longer able to fill their place on a field trip they have already paid for, and the departure date is less than 30 days away from the date of notification, no refund will be made.
How demanding is each trip?
How will I be assessed?
A participant’s notebooks and field maps will be reviewed before departure. Each participant will be expected to submit a written report including field maps following the excursion. These will be assessed and feedback provided by the field excursion co-ordinator. External participants will not be matriculated students at the University of St Andrews, and will therefore not be allocated credits towards a degree programme. A certificate will be issued to demonstrate satisfactory completion of the course.
What equipment do I need?
All camping equipment, if required, will be provided including a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat, but a participant is welcome to bring his/her own if they prefer. Field materials such as hammers, technical equipment, hard hats, visibility vests will be provided. Waterproof notebooks will be provided.
Participants are expected to bring warm clothing, waterproof jacket and trousers, hat, sun block and appropriate footwear. Please remember that temperatures and weather can be unpredictable in the mountains and the Highlands- a combination of clothing for sunny and wet and cold climates should be brought.
I don't have any field experience at all... would I still be able to participate?
We recommend you register for field excursions 1 and 2, to Scotland and Spain. In the former (Scotland) you are guided through key field observations and geological interpretation. There are opportunities here to learn how to use a field notebook and a compass-clinometer to record structural measurements. In the latter (Spain) the work builds on these skills, allowing more independent observation and interpretation, resulting in the creation of a geological map, cross-section and stereoplots. If we are made aware of your needs, we will endeavour to provide supporting material/resources in advance of your excursion, including uploaded videos of relevant lectures.
I can't afford these costs, but would really like to participate
We can arrange to meet a participant directly in Italy and/or Spain for the Geology of Spain and the Geology of the European Alps trips respectively. In this case prices for these excursions may be reduced by approximately £350 (GBP).
If you do not have funds to cover the costs of your chosen excursion in full, please contact Dr Ruth Robinson with an expression of your interest and an indication of your financial feasibility.
Yes [I would recommend this trip to others] and without hesitation. There is no way I could’ve seen as much great geology in so short a time and in such good company otherwise. The content of the trip was excellent. It covered a good variety of well exposed rock types of diverse ages, associated structures and had some interesting economic aspects. On a personal and professional level, I took a lot from this trip. The opportunity to discuss geology ”on the rocks” with leading workers in their fields was most welcome, as was the chance to revist some dimly-remembered basic geological principles and see certain textures and structures for the first time outside of a textbook. It was also very rewarding to interact with the students, to share my knowledge with them and help them with their reasoning. It’s fair to say that thanks to the opportunity provided by St Andrews I got to see some fantastic geology in great company.
Dr Steve Tennant (from Birmingham, UK) is a self-employed consultant geologist who joined us to see and learn about some new geology as well pass on some of his own geological knowledge to satisfy part of his CPD commitment.Dr Steve Tennant