Enquiry for Major/Minor/Programme Requirements

Major Title Major in Earth System Science
Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in 2017-2018

Earth System Science seeks to understand the Earth as an integrated system, including its past, present and future behaviour, from the environments where life evolves on the surface to the interactions between the crust and its fluid envelopes (atmosphere and hydrosphere), with interests extending to the Earth's interior. Core courses in the major focus on understanding the composition, structure and processes of the solid earth, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere, and their interactions. Students will be equipped with knowledge to help manage geological resources and natural hazards. Throughout the curriculum there is consistent emphasis on transferable skills, learning through fieldwork, laboratory studies and research based classes, designed to enhance students' ability to think critically, to communicate effectively and to develop solutions to complex problems. Graduates from the major can pursue further studies in the Earth Sciences and careers in a wide variety of geoscience-related areas including resource management, hazard mitigation, soil and water conservation and teaching.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this programme, students should be able to:
PLO 1 :

describe the key concepts of the Earth System components and processes (by means of coursework, tutorial classes and laboratory-based learning in the curriculum)

PLO 2 :

have acquired the ability to observe, describe, measure and analyze principal phenomena of earth processes and the interactions between different earth components (by means of coursework, tutorial classes and laboratory-based learning in the curriculum)

PLO 3 :

provide expertise to maintain geological environments and prevent severe perturbations due to resource exploitation and water disposal (by means of coursework, tutorial classes and laboratory-based learning in the curriculum)

PLO 4 :

equip with the knowledge and skills to better predict and deal with geological and related hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, floods and volcanic eruptions, and recognize and appraise the related ethical issues (by means of coursework, tutorial classes and laboratory-based learning in the curriculum)

PLO 5 :

identify real life problems pertaining to the physical environment and find solutions to those problems (by means capstone learning experience in the form of internship, field learning, and project-based learning in the curriculum)

PLO 6 :

work with other students and possess an adequate level of communication skills (by means of group project learning and presentation opportunities in the curriculum)

Impermissible Combination:

Minor in Earth Sciences

Required courses (96 credits)
1. Introductory level courses (48 credits)
Disciplinary Core Courses: Science Foundation Courses (12 credits)
SCNC1111 Scientific method and reasoning (6)
SCNC1112 Fundamentals of modern science (6)
Disciplinary Core Courses (36 credits)
EASC1401 Blue Planet (6)
EASC1406 Introduction to the earth-life system (6)
EASC2401 Fluid/solid interactions in earth processes (6)
EASC2402 Field and laboratory methods (6)
EASC2404 Introduction to atmosphere and hydrosphere (6)
EASC2410 Data analysis and modeling in earth sciences (6)
2. Advanced level courses (42 credits)
Disciplinary Core Courses (6 credits)
EASC4403 Biogeochemical cycles (6)
Disciplinary Electives (36 credits)
At least 36 credits selected from Lists A and B, among which at least 18 credits from List A:
List A
EASC3410 Hydrogeology (6)
EASC3415 Meteorology (6)
EASC3418 Earth surface processes (6)
ENVS3313 Environmental oceanography (6)
List B
EASC3020 Global change: anthropogenic impacts (6)
EASC3403 Sedimentary environments (6)
EASC3405 Environmental remote sensing (6)
EASC3406 Reconstruction of past climate (6)
EASC3412 Earth resources (6)
EASC3417 Earth through time (6)
EASC3999 Directed studies in earth sciences (6)
ENVS3007 Natural hazards and mitigation (6)
EASC4408 Special topics in earth sciences (6)
EASC4999 Earth sciences project (12)
3. Capstone requirement (6 credits)
EASC4911 Earth system: contemporary issues (6)

1. Double-counting of courses up to a maximum of 24 credits is permissible when a student with a science major opts to undertake a second major in science. The double-counted courses must include SCNC1111 Scientific method and reasoning (6 credits) and SCNC1112 Fundamentals of modern science (6 credits). Additional credits to be double-counted must be for courses required ('disciplinary core') by both majors. For cases with 24 or less double-counted credits, the student must make up an equivalent number of credits by taking other courses offered by any Faculty.

2. If more than 24 credits (including SCNC1111 & SCNC1112) are listed as required courses ("disciplinary core") in both the first and second majors undertaken by a student, the student must make up the number of credits above the 24 permissible by taking replacement course(s) (disciplinary electives) in the second major. Double counting of credits is not permissible for major-minor or double-minors combinations. For details, please refer to "Students taking double Majors, Major-Minor or double Minors with overlapping course requirements" in the BSc syllabuses.

3. Students are not required to take Capstone if this Science major is taken as a second major on the condition that the capstone experience in the first major requires the integration or application of knowledge from both major disciplines.  If this is approved, a 6-credit advanced level course (disciplinary electives) in the second major must be taken to fulfill the credit requirement of the capstone experience.

4. Capstone requirement for BEd&BSc degree students is different. Students are required to take an additional 6-credit advanced level course (disciplinary electives) in the major to replace the capstone requirement of this Major.  Students should consult the Faculty of Education for details.

5. Students are recommended to take additional chemistry and/or physics courses above the introductory level if they are interested in postgraduate research in Earth System Science.

6. Students are recommended to take PHYS1240 Physics by Inquiry and CHEM1041 Foundations of Chemistry if they do not have level 3 or above in HKDSE Physics and Chemistry, respectively, or equivalent.


Important! Ultimate responsibility rests with students to ensure that the required pre-requisites and co-requisite of selected courses are fulfilled. Students must take and pass all required courses in the selected primary science major in order to satisfy the degree graduation requirements.

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