Planetary Science

Module code: GL3106

The profile of planetary science is increasing rapidly, and the role of geoscientists within is wide and varied. In November 2018, this excitement culminated with the landing of the NASA InSight mission on Mars, where it will study the interior of the planet.

In this module, you will get the opportunity to explore how geological and geophysical approaches are used to understand the evolution of our own, and neighbouring, planets.  The range of techniques and subject areas that comprise planetary science means that this module will build on a variety of core modules from earlier years, and you will pick up new knowledge across a broad spectrum of topics.

Topics covered

  • The role of isotopes in understanding planetary evolution
  • Mineralogy of meteorites
  • Remote sensing and sedimentology of Mars
  • The dynamics of mantle convection
  • Geophysical techniques for understanding planetary interiors

Learning

  • 9 hours of lectures
  • 27 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 114 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Coursework - group preparation (20%)
  • Coursework - report (50%)
  • Exam - MCQ, 1 ½ hours (30%)