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Program Description:

Earth Science Field Academy

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews would like to invite applicants to apply for one of two residential geology programmes in Scotland during the 2017 Summer Semester.
As the international home of geology, Scotland is the ideal natural laboratory in which to study geology. We offer two courses: Earth Science Summer Camp is designed for non-science majors and Junior science students, while students on our Geology Field Camp in Scotland course are trained to become professional 21st century field geologists.
Geology Field Camp in Scotland
Geology Field Camp Scotland Information Flier
Geology Field Camp Scotland Application Form
Geology Field Camp Scotland Syllabus
Geology Field Camp in Scotlandphoto1
The School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews invites you to walk in the footsteps of geological giants and to study in the “birthplace of geology” at one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world.
Herbert H Read famously said “…the best geologists are the ones who have seen the most rocks” (Read, 1940); we agree! Scotland’s geological diversity is a key factor in our Department’s field training and because our campus is situated in the Midland Valley Terrane, and just one hour from the Highlands, travel time is minimised allowing more time “on the rocks”.
Why learn to map in Scotland at the University of St Andrews?
Scotland has more geological diversity per km2 than anywhere else on Earth. In this course you will study the world-famous Sites of Specific Scientific Interest that led to the discovery of geological time, modern structural geology and metamorphic zones. On completion of this course, you will have mapped and discussed world class geology, become a confident field-ready geologist, met new friends and encountered new cultural experiences along the way.
The School of Earth and Environmental Science is recognised internationally as a leader in geological field training, ranks No. 1 in Scotland in Earth Science education (2016 Complete University Guide) and No. 1 in the UK for graduate prospects. Our students appreciate that all teaching staff are experienced, dedicated, friendly and research-active geoscientists.
 What to Expect in Field Camp?
This is a challenging, intensive and highly rewarding programme that is conducted over five weeks of residential fieldwork. You will work on the Fife Coastline, classic Buchan and Barrovian metamorphism localities south of Aberdeen, the picutureque setting around Loch Ness and the NW highlands near Durness and finally spend a full week exploring the Isle of Mull and Iona which formphoto2 part of the Hebrides.
The course will cover geological mapping and field work techniques and integrate stratigraphic, lithological, structural and palaeontological concepts of traditional field geology. Students will become confident field geologists capable of conducting independent field work in complex geological terranes.
Field Camp Programme
Field training is led by our school staff who have decades of experience in geological fieldwork worldwide. A total of 28 days will be spent conducting field work designed to build upon a series of short introductory workshops and lectures. During this time a staff to student ratio of 1:10 is maintained and all courses are led by members of faculty.
Day Exercise & Location
1-3 Welcome, The Geology of Scotland &
Map interpretation, University of St Andrews
4 Late Carboniferous rock record excursion, Elie
5-7 Carboniferous Stratigraphic correlations, Fife coast
8 Stratigraphy, Water and Whiskey, Kingsbarns
10-12 Fife Costal Mapping Exercise, Stonehaven
13 Rest day – Explore Edinburgh & Arthurs Seat
14-16 Barrovian Metamorphism, Stonehaven
17-18 Buchan Isograds, Portsoy
19 Rest Day – Loch Ness & the Great Glen Fault, Inverness
20-24 Fold and Thrust Belts – Durness
25 Archean Granulites – NW Scotland
26 A Geological Tour of through Precambrian and Palaeozoic Earth, NW Scotland
27 Caledonian Volcanism at Glencoe, Fort William
28-31 Independent mapping on the Ross of Mull, Isle of Mull
32 A Geological Tour from the Palaeozoic to the Paleogene, Isle of Mull
33-34 Field Conference on the Geodynamic Evolution of Scotland, Isle of Mull
35 Return to St Andrews, University of St Andrews
36 End of Course
*Subject to change due to weather conditions & tide times
Module Specifics & Requisites
6 USA semester core science credits /24 Scottish credits over five weeks of study
  • Enrolled as a geoscience major at a Higher Education institution
  • 100 Scottish credits/24 USA credits in geoscience
  • GPA 3.0 or above
Geology Field Camp in Scotland will run from June 3rd to July 8th for the 2017 Summer Semester. Note that exact dates vary from year to year.
Cost of Five Week Field Camp
£3,600 (GBP) inclusive of;
  • Five weeks of tuition at the University of St Andrews, Scotland
  • Accommodation and food on campus (14 nights)
  • Field accommodation in high quality youth hostels with internet, shower and full kitchen facilities (21 nights)
  • Transport and food in the field
  • All materials required for mapping projects
  • Admittance to historic sites of interest
  • Cost does not include travel expenses between home country and the University of St Andrews
Earth Science Summer Camp
1Explore the Scottish Highlands and heritage while developing an appreciation for three billion years of Earth history and the geological processes that shape our planet.
This program introduces you to Earth Science and Scottish Geology over four weeks of residential study in Scotland, followed by one week of directed study. No prior knowledge of geology is required. As a resident student, you will be fully immersed in Scottish heritage and culture throughout your stay at the third oldest University in the English-speaking world.

What can you expect of this Field Skills Training course?

2You will see some of the oldest rocks in the world, find your own fossils, discover why some ancient volcanoes go boom and others just pop, and learn how to identify different rocks and minerals and understand their economic application. The majority of the teaching involves hands-on laboratory classes or takes place in the great outdoors. Using Scotland as a case study, you will learn to appreciate Earth history and gain a deep understanding of the Earth’s composition, evolution and resources.

Field Excursions & the Scottish Highlands

Field work skills and geological knowledge are built up through 3 day trips to the fantastic coastal outcrops around St Andrews (only a stone’s throw away), the seaside villages on the Fife coast such as Pittenweem, and the world-renowned Siccar Point near Edinburgh. This prepares you for the 4-day excursion through the picturesque northwest Highlands of Scotland.



Experience Scottish culture & heritage

Scotland has a long and fascinating history and we encourage students to experience all that it has to offer. We organise several social events such as local ceilidhs and day excursions to the cultural heights of Edinburgh and ancient battlefields in the Highlands.
For further information please contact;
Geology Field Camp in Scotland
School of Earth and Environmental Sciencewill-mccarthy
University of St Andrews
Irvine Building
St Andrews
KY16 9AL
Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1334 463940
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Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Approximate Decision Date (Subject To Change) Start Date End Date
Summer 2024 04/01/2024 ** Approximately 2 weeks after the deadline TBA TBA
NOTE: The deadline listed is for REGISTRATION of this program with William & Mary through the W&M Global Education Office here at -- but you must apply directly to this program via their system according to THEIR deadlines, which may be earlier than W&M's registration deadline!

** Students will be notified of their status for this program and be able to complete post-decision materials following the term's application deadline.