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3. Describe the structure of the earth, the formation of rocks and soils, as well as geological and geomorphological concepts and their engineering implications.

Module Learning Outcomes

The following module learning outcomes and professional body learning outcomes are tested in this assessment:

3. Describe the structure of the earth, the formation of rocks and soils, as well as geological and geomorphological concepts and their engineering implications. (PSRB Learning Outcome = SM1b,EA1b,D1,D2,D3b,EL5b,P2b,P8)

6. Recognise the environmental and health and safety aspects of hydraulic engineering as well as assess geotechnical risk in construction works. (PSRB Learning Outcome = D2,D6,EL6b)

Assessment task and specific terms

Our Industrial Advisory Board repeatedly tells us that employers want their graduate engineers to have better sketching/drawing skills. This assessment therefore places significant emphasis on this type of content.

Specific instructions for sketches that you need to include in your report

You will need to sketch key features shown in the virtual field course (VFC) photographs – and sometimes the entire picture – and add appropriate and sufficient labels to your sketch to make it intelligible to the reader. Each sketch should be drawn within the size of an A5 page (i.e. two sketches to a plain sheet of A4) using pencil or black pen, and each should take no more than a few minutes as if being drawn at the field site. Each sketch must be identified as a Figure, given a proper caption, and cited within the text. Make sure the scanned versions are clear, with sufficient resolution (e.g. at least 200 d.p.i.) and good contrast so that even the faintest sketch lines are visible.

Your report will have three sections, one for each day.

In each section, you need to identify and sketch at least four specific observed geological or geomorphological features that could have geotechnical engineering significance, referencing the PPT slide and file from which the sketch was drawn (e.g. ‘Day 2a, slide 34’), and explain each in turn as follows:

If the feature arose at a project site somewhere (here or anywhere else), what may be the engineering or construction implications?

Each section (i.e. each day) should have one A4 page of text (2 cm margins, 12pt text, single spaced) plus at least 4 labelled ‘field’ sketches to illustrate the features identified. References of published sources are encouraged but not compulsory for this exercise, in line with the original coursework expectations.

Responses to student questions about the original coursework are included at the bottom of this file as they remain relevant.

The completed report must be submitted by 17.00 h on 14 August 2020.

Assessment Criteria

Assessment of your submission will be based on the following weighted assessment criteria as given below which relate to the specified module and PSRB learning outcomes. Assessment criteria are reproduced in Canvas in a rubric.

Specific Criteria (marking scheme)

Marks available

‘Field’ sketches

Clarity and quality (including relevance) of sketches – including labels/explanatory notes

10 per section = 30


For each section, adequate details of geological/geomorphological characteristics or issues that were observed (relevant to the question)

10 per section = 30


For each section, adequate explanations (with respect to the question) of potential geotechnical implications and safety issues identified

10 per section = 30


  1.   a.  Clear concise and accurate information
  2.   b.  Relevant content
  3.   c.  Appropriate and correctly labelled/ captioned illustrations/diagrams

  d.  Presented exactly according to instructions



Total = 100%


Academic skills support

For help and advice on this assessment please contact the assessment setter/s or the module leader. For advice on academic writing and referencing please contact the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (SEC) Academic Success Centre (SASC). Trained staff and students will give you guidance and feedback on assessments. SASC can be contacted by email: SASC@kingston.ac.uk

SASC can also be contacted via the canvas module https://canvas.kingston.ac.uk/enroll/48BKTH

Responses to student enquiries:

1. For most sites, the text presented here is simply the ‘script’ of what we would have told you at each specific ‘stop’ on each itinerary, whilst looking (and occasionally pointing or vaguely waving!) at the visible view (i.e. what you can see in the photos). In other words, in these files you are provided with exactly the same – or in some cases much more – information than would have been the case on site during the real field course. Almost every photo is referenced in the text in each respective file, although it is always possible that I’ve accidentally missed one here and there. The strict order doesn’t quite continue into Day 3 because I was running out of time to complete it and Prof Bromhead kindly offered to help prepare some of the content for me. I suggest either: (i) have the text open on the left half of the screen and the PPT open on the right half of the screen, at the same time, or (ii) if you can, print the text and view the PPT full-screen as you work through it.

2. Writing style: keep it simple. Use the third person, since you are addressing specific questions. The format of the report is intended to be as close to the original coursework as possible, i.e. just the three sections, no separate overall Introduction or Conclusions needed (they take up words from the allowance) – just write about the specified topics. Report format: as specified in the brief.

3. Coursework should NOT include photos. This is consistent with the original assessment for the real field course. Where you might have expected to include a photograph to illustrate something, do a sketch instead that you draw by copying the relevant photograph and adding labels to identify (NOT explain) features. The explanations should be in the text. If you do not have access to a scanner, take a photograph of each sketch then copy the JPG into your report. Make sure each such image is clear, legible, in proper focus, etc.. If in doubt, take two or three photos of each sketch and use the best quality result.

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