skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

General Information

Library

The Earth Sciences Library is the main resource for Part II and III students. For the IA and IB courses, most textbooks are held in college libraries. Students from all years are nevertheless welcome to make full use of the department library, and to seek advice from the librarians. 

Internet-based learning

Relevant reference material for all Earth Sciences courses are available on Moodle including:

  • Lecture notes
  • Practical handouts
  • Practical answers
  • Question sheets
  • Supplementary material eg. video demonstrations
  • Course handbooks
  • Tripos exam papers
  • Explanation of marking criteria and classing procedures

Students taking a course should be routinely registered on the relevant Moodle site at the beginning of the academic year. If you are not registered but would like to be, you should contact the appropriate course coordinator.

Health & safety

Whether in the lab or out on fieldwork, you need to be aware of your health and safety, and what responsibilities you have to look after yourself and your colleagues.

Please refer to the Safety Handbook, in particular the sections:

Read the Code of Safety and Good Conduct for Teaching Laboratories, to see the guidelines for everyday teaching in Cambridge.

  • Page no. 40: TEACHING LABORATORIES CODE OF SAFE PRACTICE AND GOOD CONDUCT

Fieldwork safety is taken very seriously by the Department. Before taking part in any field work organised by the department, students should read the information given in the Fieldwork Code of Safe Practice and Good Conduct in the Safety Handbook

  • Page no 36: FIELDWORK CODE OF SAFE PRACTICE AND GOOD CONDUCT

For the Part II Mapping Project, all students should have read and acted on the safety information contained in the Field Project Guide which includes but is not limited to: 

  • Arranging your own travel, medical and personal accident insurance.
  • Preparing a hazard assessment for the fieldwork. Please refer to the page no. 31:Field Risk Assessment.
  • Arranging a local contact and notifying your supervisor and the Department Administrator of their contact details.
  • Reading page no 30: Fieldwork.

Full details of Departmental health and safety guidelines are in the Health & Safety section of the website, and in the Safety Handbook.

Transferable skills

Courses in Earth Sciences develop many skills in students that are useful for study in other disciplines, in jobs, and in general for the rest of their lives. The Transferable Skills Statement summarises the generic skills that an undergraduate in Earth Sciences will acquire through their three or four years in Cambridge.

NST Approved Calculators

For Natural Sciences Tripos examinations Parts IA, IB, II and III (where a calculator is allowed), you will be permitted to use only the standard University calculators CASIO fx 115 (any version) or CASIO fx 991 (any version). Each such calculator must be marked in the approved fashion.

Standard University calculators, marked in the approved fashion, will be on sale at the beginning of Full Michaelmas Term 2015 at £11-17 each from the Department of Chemistry, Part IA laboratory preparation room, or from the Main Stores in the Bragg Building at the Cavendish for £19.50.

You are strongly advised to purchase a calculator at the beginning of term.

Students already possessing a CASIO fx 115 (any version), CASIO fx 570 (any version), or CASIO fx 991 (any version) will be able to have it marked appropriately, at no cost, in the Department of Chemistry, Part IA laboratory.

Laboratory Safety and Conduct

General safety

  • Food or drink must not be consumed in any laboratory with the exception of water in a capped bottle.
  • All bags, coats and cycle helmets are to be kept off the benches.
  • To allow unobstructed passage around laboratories all students’ personal possessions must be stowed under the benches or in the cubby holes provided.    
  • If the fire alarm sounds, you will hear a very loud continuously ringing bell. On the instructions of the demonstrator in charge of the class, you must leave the building and assemble on the lawn by the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology. Do not stop to collect personal belongings and do not re-enter the building until the fire brigade has given the all-clear.

Equipment and practical material

  • Keep a minimum number of possessions on the bench tops, and try to keep them in order so that the risk of knocking samples onto the floor is minimised.
  • Bench lamps must be lifted by their bases, not by the arms. Lifting by the arms can damage the pivoting mechanism.
  • You will be instructed in the use of microscopes, and these instructions must be followed. Do not drag microscopes across the bench top; move them by safe lifting. Dragging the microscopes causes severe vibration, which leads to the optics becoming misaligned.
  • When using microscopes and computers, check your seating position to ensure that you are at the correct height and, to avoid eye strain, look across the lab to allow your eyes to change focus every 20 minutes or so.
  • Glass microscope slides must be treated with care. They are easily broken; some are irreplaceable, and all are expensive to replace.
  • Handle ALL specimens with care. Many, especially the palaeontological material, are of museum display quality and are irreplaceable. Do not mark or scratch them unless you are specifically told you may do so.
  • Ensure that all specimens, microscope slides, etc. are returned to the correct tray or drawer after use, and that any microscopes and bench lights are turned off before you leave the lab.

Plagiarism 

Copying someone else's work and passing it off as your own is unacceptable in the academic world, whether in exams, project work, published papers, or in any other medium. Our Plagiarism Guidance makes clear the rules to obey, and the subject-specific conventions for properly citing the work of others. The University reserves the right to assess any submitted written work suspected of plagiarism using software called Turnitin. The Turnitin Guide explains how this works within Earth Sciences.

Student Complaints Procedure

If you are in difficulty in relation to your course, you should discuss the problem in the first instance with your Supervisor or Advisor. If your difficulties are not specifically related to your course, you should contact your College Tutor.

The Student Complaints Procedure allows a student to express dissatisfaction about the standard of service provided by the University.

Further advice is available from Student Complaints