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The Geology of Yorkshire and Northern England - PGDip

Course content

Northern England has an extraordinary diversity of landscapes and geological features, and as the largest county, Yorkshire preserves a large proportion of them. From the rugged North York Moors and the limestone pavements of the Yorkshire Dales to the coalfields of South Yorkshire and the shifting coastlines of Holderness, it is in many respects a microcosm of the region.

In The Geology of Yorkshire and Northern England, students will obtain a regional geological understanding with which to interpret larger-scale Earth processes and structures. The programme will provide students with training in advanced palaeoenvironmental analysis and science communication skills. Students will also assess Yorkshire and Northern England's importance to current controversies in Earth sciences, from fracking to climate change, and acquire an understanding of the region's vital role in the history of geology.

This is a part-time Postgraduate Diploma delivered wholly online in a fully supported learning environment. The programme starts in late September/early October each academic year, and places are limited to ensure a constructive atmosphere for discussions. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after successful completion of the first year if their circumstances change.


The programme will aim to:
-Introduce the key tenets and sub-disciplines of geology, focussing particularly on the geological evolution of northern England
-Provide students with a holistic understanding of the geological origins and history of Yorkshire and northern England
-Introduce students to field and laboratory geological analysis, and the skills and techniques required to interpret geological features accurately
-Describe the main geological units present in Yorkshire, their composition, distribution and formation
-Explore the geological history of Yorkshire and its global significance in the development of Earth Sciences
-Examine and interpret the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic geology of Yorkshire
-Explain the scientific importance of Yorkshire's rocks, and the role they have played in our understanding of the evolution of the Earth.
-Further develop students' palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental interpretation skills
-Examine the Cenozoic and recent geological history of Yorkshire
-Provide students with an understanding of human interactions with, and exploitation of, the geological resources and landscapes of Yorkshire and northern England
-Further develop students’ knowledge of Yorkshire's role in the evolution of global geological hypotheses


This part-time two-year programme will comprise six 20-credit modules:
Year One
-Origins – the Development of Geology in Northern England
-Dales and Vales – the Palaeozoic of Yorkshire and Northern England
-Moors and Coast – the Mesozoic of Yorkshire and Northern England

Year Two
-Advanced Palaeoenvironmental Analysis
-Fire and Ice – the Cenozoic of Yorkshire and Northern England
-People and Landscape - The Human Geology of Yorkshire and Northern England

Students will be required to complete all these modules in the first instance, though additional modules may be added in the future to accommodate future programme growth and offer a broader learning experience.

It is anticipated that assessments will comprise a balance of short and long critical essays, laboratory-based projects and project work.

Online Study

Our approach to e-learning is distinctive and may be different from your general perceptions about online study:
-Flexible, fully supported, modular delivery
-Taught exclusively online
-Two stages: Certificate and Diploma. Each stage typically takes 12 months
-Comprises six distinct modules
-Part-time study (approximately 15 hours per week) allows participants to structure their learning around the other life circumstances

Visit the The Geology of Yorkshire and Northern England - PGDip page on the University of York website for more details!




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Recipient: University of York

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