Landscape Processes and Surveying | Abertay University

Landscape Processes and Surveying


Introduction to landscape processes and surveying.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with a basic understanding of geology, hydrology and geomorphology and methods for assessing and understanding landscape forms and processes - specifically, equipping them with surveying practice skills suitable for engineering and environmental application.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate an understanding of geology relevant to civil and environmental engineering

2.  Demonstrate an understanding of hydrological and geomorphological processes at the landscape scale and their relevance to sustainable development

3.  Understand surveying theory for use in civil and environmental engineering

4.  Apply practical surveying skills relevant to civil and environmental engineering using safe working practices (level surveys, detailed surveys and setting out)

Indicative Content

1 Introduction to Earth Surface Processes:

The origin and structure of the earth - Including large scale processes (earthquakes, volcanoes) and long time scales (geological formations)

2 Introduction to Geology:

Minerals (properties of common rock forming minerals); Rocks (geological origin and identification of rocks); Structural Geology (principles of stratigraphy and structural geology : dip and strike, folds, faults and unconformities)

3 Introduction to Environmental Systems:

Environmental systems and cycles − The Physical Environment (Geomorphological and Hydrological processes).

4 Human forces behind environmental issues:

Population, technology, socio−cultural organisation, etc.

5 Environmental problems related to landscape processes:

Including air pollution, water pollution, contaminated land, waste disposal, agricultural pollution, noise pollution, deforestation and soil erosion, and urbanisation.

6 Surveying:

Apply the principles of good practice in land surveying, with knowledge of the accuracies achievable/required for different industry/construction-related tasks.

7 Surveying tasks:

Demonstrate standard field techniques and methods of calculation and computational data-manipulation used in various surveying tasks applied to industry/construction.

8 Three-dimensional survey:

Complete a detailed three-dimensional survey of a small area of land.

9 Surveying theory and practice:

Demonstrate an understanding of surveying theory and carry out calculations related to surveying practice.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Delivery through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Lectures are informative and are accompanied by practical sessions for surveying skills and a field trip (to support lecture information on geology, hydrology and geomorphological processes). Assessment by coursework and exam.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 28
Tutorial/Seminar 6
Supervised Practical Activity 20
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 90
Independent 56

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.