Down to Earth - An Introduction to Geology

Course details

From £77.00

Sat 13 Apr 2019

Down to Earth - An Introduction to Geology


A wide-ranging introduction to geology for beginners. Topics include:

  • plate tectonics: a framework to explain volcanoes and earthquakes, mountains and oceans
  • rocks and minerals: how they form and how to recognise the common ones
  • fossils: their preservation, use in geology, and how to identify those most commonly found
  • the geological history of Britain: key events from Britain’s long and dramatic past, during which it has been torn by earthquakes, scorched by volcanoes, scraped by ice, covered with seas and raised to high mountains.

There will also be a chance to study many real geological specimens in the teaching room. You are very welcome to bring along your own geological specimens which you would like to be identified or which you think are of special interest.

No previous background in geology is needed for the course and no reading is required in advance.

Maximum number of places available: 25.

Programme details



9.15am      Registration

9.30am     Plate tectonics – a unifying concept in Earth Sciences

10.45am    Coffee / tea

11.15am     Rocks and minerals and how to identify them

12.30pm    Lunch / break

2.00pm     Practical session (~30 mins) studying geological specimens in the teaching room

                  Fossils – their preservation and how to identify the common ones   (~45 mins)

3.15pm      Tea / coffee

3.45pm     The geological history of Britain

5.15pm      Course disperses


Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £77.00
Baguette Lunch Saturday: £4.90
Hot Lunch Saturday: £14.00


Dr Peter R Sheldon


is an Honorary Associate in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Open University, where he was a Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences until 2015. He chaired the Open University course on Geology and contributed to many other OU courses. He has given over 80 courses in geology, palaeontology and evolution for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education since 1979 and over 40 day-schools for OUDCE at Rewley House since 1993.