Introduction to geology
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HS026
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
Geology is a relatively recent science; up to the 1790s, rocks and fossils were explained by the Deluge of Noah. We have come a long way since then, with the theories of plate tectonics explaining the position of the continents, volcanoes and earthquakes, and evolution, the fossil record we see in the rocks. The emplacement of granites and their erosion can give us a grasp of the vast span of geological time, and geologists are the scientists who find most of the world’s natural resources.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Early ideas about the history of the Earth
- The ‘Plate Tectonic’ history of the British Isles
- Plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes
- What happens when a granite erodes
- Weathering and the shaping of the landscape
- How we know about the history of life on earth
- Drilling for oil in the North Sea.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Outline some early ideas on the history of the Earth
- Explain the theory of Plate Tectonics
- Explain why earthquakes and volcanoes occur
- Describe the process of weathering and how landscapes are shaped
- Outline how we know about the history of life on earth
- Be able to look at landscapes from a geological viewpoint.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and is open to all. No prior knowledge of the subject is required. However, you will
need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course and to participate fully in discussions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught in a number of different ways including presentations with visual examples, discussions and group work.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring a notepad and pen. There will be no additional costs for the course but a hand lens or magnifying glass will be useful to bring along if you already have one (but not essential if you don't).
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
HS145 Science guest lecture with Professor Raman Prinja: The stellar story, from dusty birth to explosive death
HS101 Neanderthals: an evaluation of the latest research
Please see our science and nature website for more courses.If you are on Twitter and want to get course notifications by tweet, please follow us at
Charles T. G. Clarke hails from the Republic of Ireland. He specialises in Archaeology and Human Evolutionary research. With a Bacholar of Science in Applied Archaeology from the Institute of Technology Sligo and a Master of Science in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology (IOA) University College London (UCL). His work touches on aspects of the geological sciences from radiometric dating to an understanding of rock formation. He currently works as a Commercial Archaeologist with Archaeological Management Solutions (AMS) in the Republic of Ireland.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.