GV2HY-Hydrological Processes

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: GV1D Hydrology
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Andrew Wade

Email: a.j.wade@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to the science and practice of hydrology. More specifically, hydrological processes are described in terms of the physical, chemical and/or biological mechanisms operating, and related to variations in climate, geology, soil and land cover. The hydrological processes are then considered in terms of important management issues, such as flood protection, drought, water supply and over-abstraction, water quality and aquatic ecology. Topics include evapotranspiration and irrigation demand, hillslope hydrology and flood generation, soil water processes and water availability, groundwater recharge, groundwater movement and the consequences of over-abstraction, channel flow and flood propagation, ground- and surface-water interactions, and water quality. Practical sessions consider hydrological measurement and mapping, and the use of hydrological models.


The aims of this module are for students to (a) develop an understanding of the physical principles involved in the storage and movement of surface- and ground-water, and (b) understand how hydrological processes relate to issues of catchment and water resource management. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of this module, students will be able to: - Describe and explain the processes controlling the storage and transport of water within the unsaturated and saturated zones and river channels; - Critically assess the contribution of hydrological processes to management issues such as flooding, water supply, water quality and aquatic habitat protection; - make hydrological measurements, analyse hydrological data and use simple hydrological modelling software.

Additional outcomes:
Practical work will be used to further develop learning and time management skills.

Outline content:

Students are expected to secure their own placements to be completed during the summer vacation preceding Part 2 study. The placement length should be 10 days (70 hours), or part-time equivalent (although longer placements can contribute to this module). Placements may be paid or unpaid. Advice and support on securing placements will be available from the School and the Careers Service. Placements must provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of the research/enterprise working environment, and provide them with situations to develop both the academic/technical expertise and ‘soft-skills’. Each placement must be individually approved by the module convenor, with all necessary legal, health and safety documents in place prior to commencement. During the placement the student must abide by the rules and regulations of the provider.

Students who do not secure placements before the summer vacation will be asked to transfer to another 10 credit module instead.

Global context:
Water sustainability is a global issue and this module will use examples from around the World to illustrate the issues considered.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will consist of 14 hours of lectures and 8 hours of practical classes, with an additional 2 hour revision session in the summer term before the exam. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 14
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 8
Guided independent study 76
Total hours by term 98.00 2.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Report 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One and a half hours.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One practical class report (30% of the total mark) and one examination of one and a half hours (70%).

Formative assessment methods:

There will be an opportunity to receive formative feedback during practical sessions and on formative practical reports and a draft essay that focuses on a literature review, with quizzes and on-line multiple choice tests also available to help check progress. Students are encouraged to ask questions during the lectures and hydrological surgeries are run to help with any questions. 

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

- where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;

- where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination in August / September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: nil 2) Specialist equipment or materials: nil 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: nil 4) Printing and binding: nil 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: nil 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: nil

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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