Honour School of Earth Sciences

A

  • 1. The subject of the Honour School of Geology/Earth Sciences shall be the study of the natural science of the Earth in space and time.

  • 2. No candidate shall be admitted to examination in this school unless he or she has either passed or been exempted from the First Public Examination.

  • 3. The examination in this school shall be under the supervision of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Board, which shall prescribe the necessary regulations. Details of the conventions used by the examiners can be found in the Undergraduate Course Handbook (see B1 below).

  • 4. The examination shall consist of one part for the three-year course in Geology (Part A) and two parts for the four-year course in Earth Sciences (A, B). Part A shall be subdivided into Part A1 (examinations taking place three terms after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination) and Part A2 (examinations taking place six terms after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination).

  • 5. No candidate may present him or herself for examination in Part B unless he or she has been adjudged worthy of at least second class honours by the examiners in Part A.

  • 6. The name of a candidate in either the three-year course or the four-year course shall not be published in a class list until he or she has completed all parts of the respective examination; and in the case of the four-year course, has been adjudged worthy of honours by the examiners in Part A and Part B of the examination. The Examiners shall give due consideration to the performance in all parts of the respective examinations.

  • 7. Part A1 may only be taken once, but no candidate shall be deemed to have failed. The second year mapping project should be submitted at the beginning of the fifth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination, and may not subsequently be modified. A candidate who obtains only a pass, or fails to satisfy the examiners in Part A, may enter again for Part A2 of the examination on one, but no more than one, subsequent occasion. Where a candidate retakes the whole year, the candidate will submit a new third-year essay on a subject approved by the Chair of the Faculty of Earth Sciences or deputy as set out in section B, Geology (three year course), (ii), below. Where a candidate resits only the examinations, the third-year essay may be resubmitted by the deadline given in the Undergraduate Course Handbook. A candidate who fails to satisfy the examiners in Part A who subsequently enters a second time may not proceed to the fourth year. The fourth-year project should be submitted in the ninth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination, and may not subsequently be modified. The rules for handling the fourth-year project are to be found in the departmental Undergraduate Course Handbook. A candidate who obtains only a pass, or fails to satisfy the examiners in Part B, may not enter again for Part B.

  • 8. A candidate adjudged worthy of Honours in the Second Public Examination for the four-year course may supplicate for the Degree of Master of Earth Sciences, provided that the candidate has fulfilled all the conditions for admission to a degree of the University.

  • 9. A candidate in the final year of the four-year course, adjudged worthy of Honours in Part A, but who does not enter Part B, or who fails to obtain Honours in Part B, is permitted to supplicate for the Honours degree of Bachelor of Arts in Geology with the classification obtained in Part A; provided that no such candidate may later enter or re-enter the Part B year or supplicate for the degree of Master of Earth Sciences; and provided in each case that the candidate has fulfilled all the conditions for admission to a degree of the University.

  • 10. Candidates will be expected to show skills and knowledge based upon practical work. The examiners will assess practical skills and knowledge by means of practical examinations, and by assessment of practical work done by candidates during their course of study.

B

  • 1. In the following, ‘the Course Handbook’ refers to the Geology/Earth Sciences Undergraduate Course Handbook, published annually at the start of Michaelmas Term by the Faculty of Earth Sciences and also posted on the website at www.earth.ox.ac.uk/undergraduate_course.

  • 2. The examiners will permit the use of any hand-held calculator, subject to the conditions set out under the heading ‘Use of calculators in examinations’ in the Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations and further elaborated in the Course Handbook.

Part A1

A candidate shall be required to offer:

  • (i) Three papers (Part A1), including practical elements, to be taken in Trinity Term, in the third term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination.

The list of subjects and syllabuses available will be published in the Course Handbook.

Part A2

A candidate shall be required to offer:

  • (i) a report on an individual mapping or practical project, prepared according to the guidelines set out in the Course Handbook, the report to be submitted by Thursday of Week 0 of Hilary Term in the fifth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination; and

  • (ii) an extended essay, prepared according to the guidelines set out in the Course Handbook, the work to be undertaken in Hilary Term in the fifth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination, and the essay to be submitted by the Thursday of Week 0 of Trinity Term in the sixth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination. The subject of the essay must have been approved by the Chair of the Faculty of Earth Sciences or deputy no later than the end of Michaelmas Full Term in the fourth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination; and

  • (iii) seven papers, including practical elements, to be taken in Week 5 of Trinity Term in the sixth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination.

The list of subjects and syllabuses available will be published in the Course Handbook.

The Head of Department of Earth Sciences or deputy shall provide the examiners with information showing the extent to which each candidate has satisfactorily completed the practicals and field courses. In addition, practical notebooks containing records of both field and laboratory courses must also be made available to the examiners.

Examiners may take into account these records of practical and fieldwork, in particular with regard to the attendance record of the candidates, and to any marks awarded for assignments, when awarding classes. Material handed in from practical classes will be taken as evidence of attendance.

For candidates whose attendance record is deemed unsatisfactory, the examiners have the discretion to reduce the final degree class of the candidate. Examiners may also take into account evidence of excellent performance in field or practical work when drawing up class boundaries.

Candidates may be examined viva voce at the examiners’ discretion.

Part B

Part B of the examination shall be taken at a time not less than three terms after Part A. In Part B a candidate shall be required to offer:

  • (i) written papers on four subjects, chosen from a list published by the Faculty of Earth Sciences as set out in (4) below, for examination in Trinity Term in the ninth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination, and

  • (ii) either an extended essay, or a report on an advanced practical project or other advanced work, prepared according to the guidelines set out in the Course Handbook, the work to be undertaken in Michaelmas, Hilary, and Trinity Terms in the seventh, eighth and ninth terms respectively after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination, and the essay or report to be submitted by Thursday of Week 3 of Trinity Term in the ninth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination. The proposed nature and duration of the practical or other advanced work shall be submitted for approval, by no later than the end of Trinity Full Term in the sixth term after the candidate has passed the First Public Examination, to the Chair of the Faculty of Earth Sciences or deputy with the agreement of the Head of the Department of Earth Sciences or deputy.

The list of subjects and syllabuses for the written papers in 1(i) will be published in the Course Handbook for the academic year in which they are examined. The subjects and syllabuses shall be approved by the Faculty of Earth Sciences with the agreement of the Head of the Department of Earth Sciences or deputy.

Candidates may be examined viva voce at the examiners’ discretion.