Earth Materials I

MQF Level 6


Earth Materials I

Module Type
ECTS Credits
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Module Description

This module introduces the learner to the basic concepts and principles in Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. The focus will be on depositional environments of the two main sedimentary realms: the siliciclastic realm and the carbonate realm. The different depositional environments in which siliciclastics and carbonates are deposited will be described and analysed. 

Essentially, the module will prepare the learner to describe and classify sediments based on the following: 

  • Sedimentology and the principles of stratigraphy, facies analysis, and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. 
  • Sediment source, weathering, and transport / deposition processes in a range of sedimentary environments, both in siliciclastic and carbonate systems. 
  • Sedimentary facies and their distribution in space and time. 
  • Measurement and interpretation of sedimentary and structural features. 
  • Identifying different types of carbonate platforms, their geometry, depositional environments, and main producers. 
  • Construction of sedimentary logs at a bed scale and at a mapping scale. 
  • Recognition of a range of fossils and trace fossils. 
  • Concepts of geochronology, lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, and chemostratigraphy. 
  • Depositional environments – Continental, marginal marine, deep water. 

The basic geochemistry of the crust and geochemical composition of the important groups of rock will be introduced as well as isotope geochemistry for dating. 



Target Audience

This program caters to individuals interested in enhancing their academic and professional understanding of Geology and Earth Sciences.


Persons seeking to or working in:

  • advance their academic and professional knowledge of Geology and Earth Sciences;
  • advance their academic and professional knowledge of rocks, namely, classification, testing, and use in industry;
  • the construction and quarrying industry;
  • pursue a career in Geology and Earth Sciences;
  • geotechnical laboratories seeking to advance their knowledge and position.

Career Paths

The potential positions for which this programme aims to prepare could be and are not limited to:

  • Professional Geologist
  • Geological technician
  • Manager of geotechnical laboratory
  • Consultancy
  • Court Expert
  • Environmental auditor and Environmental Impact Assessment expert

How you’ll be assessed

The programme comprises a total of 8 modules. The method of assessment is assignment-based.

The course comprises:

  •  Lectures per module depending on the number of ECTS (twice a week);
  • 3-hour lectures;
  • 12 hours of guided learning, presentations, comprising synchronous online discussions, tutorials and/or videos;
  • Assessment may consist of field work carried out in specific location/s in the Maltese Island;
  • Self-study hours comprising research, reading and assignment work.




The programme includes different forms of assessment which allow for and promote students’ critical engagement. The formative and summative assessment tasks may include an in-class assignment and/or a home-based written assignment using diverse assessment tools which may take the form of online and in-class discussions, examinations, case studies, reports, proposals, essays, and presentations, etc., as applicable to the diverse modules.

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