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The University of Southampton

SOES3038 OES Abroad 2

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide students with high-quality teaching in a different learning environment. To offer students a range of topics including palaeontology, stratigraphy, environmental and organic geochemistry and hydrology. Recognising that the students undertaking this course will be some of the best in SOES we will, with colleagues in Penn State, endeavour to develop a stimulating and challenging curricular best suited to the students interests and ambitions.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • The concepts and procedures of using fossil to advanced problems in palaeontology
  • Techniques in environmental geochemistry
  • The role and evolution of organic matter in the natural environment
  • Introductory hydrogeology processes
  • Modern topics of sequence stratigraphy


Students will build on their Southampton background to develop advanced interest and knowledge in a range of geological topics. From the compulsory course in "Palaeontology and Fossils" they will develop understanding of paleontological systematics, evolution, biostratigraphy, correlation, sedimentation, paleoecology and global climate change (Learning outcome 1). From their elective courses they will cover: The collection, analytical techniques, and meaning of environmental geochemical measurements (Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4). The composition, sources, and fates of particulate and dissolved organic matter in the natural environment including biogeochemical processes and the organic geochemistry of anthropogenic contaminants (Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4). The importance of the hydrologic cycle, including the occurrence, movement, quality and quantity of groundwater, and quantitative methods for assessing the role of water in geological processes (Learning outcomes 2, 3, 4). Advanced stratigraphic processes including sequence stratigraphy and the field and laboratory analysis of stratigraphic data (Learning outcomes 1 ,5).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to study in a different cultural environment and to receive instruction from research leaders in a top international University. Penn State has an excellent reputation for teaching in Earth Sciences and these methods include: Formal lectures by research leaders in Earth, ocean and planetary science. Practical and Laboratory classes using state of the art facilities. Fieldwork some courses will involve visits to type locations and critical sections, and will involve deployment of state of the art field equipment. Examples classes in small groups with expert supervision. Computer-based classes using state of the art software. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Year abroad300
Total study time300



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%
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