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Earth Sciences: Part III - fourth year

The Fourth Year follows on from Part II. Students undertake a major research project, attend seminars and take a choice of option courses across the Earth Sciences. They are encouraged to see themselves as active members of the department and take part in a field trip to Southern Spain.

Full information on Part III can be found in the 2016-2017 Part III COURSE GUIDE

There is also a synopsis of the course and exam structure atPart III Course and exam structure.

Part III Project Guide 2016 booklet is now available in the Part III Project Guide.

The research project

Part III Project Abstract List 2016

At the beginning of the fourth year, students spend eight to ten weeks doing their own research project which accounts for 40% of the assessment in the final year. Each year (in January/February) the department produces a selection of new project outlines to choose from (all in current research areas) or you can devise your own project brief in consultation with a prospective supervisor. Projects can be fieldwork-based, laboratory-based, literature-based or computer-based and in many instances lead to published papers and presentations at worldwide academic conferences.

Information is best found on Moodle or Camtools and from the library, which holds records of many past projects.


The research project output includes:

  • an A0 poster that summarises your work and preliminary conclusion,
  • a research diary recording your field, laboratory, or computer-based research and your reviewing of literature,
  • a detailed report that describes your research, methods and finding.





Here are two examples of research project posters:



Patterns in Water Discharge and Seismicity in Taiwan


The Dynamics of Basaltic Eruptions


Nick Lang

Nick Lang chose a computing-based project in his fourth year, investigating patterns in earthquake occurrence in Taiwan related to water discharge (rain and snow), over the past 30 years.

"I really enjoyed working in an office with people actively involved in research - it was useful for working out ideas, and getting immediate feedback was of immense value during the research phase."