Available courses

Following the success of our initial series of six, hour-long live Zoom sessions, we’re announcing a further series of six! Once again we have chosen some classic areas of British geology.

Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Lizard Peninsula of Cornwall, North Pennines,Ballantrae Igneous Complex of Southwest Scotland and, the Isle of Man & Yorkshire Coast.

Come and join us!!

With fieldwork still on hold, Chris Darmon & Colin Schofield will be bringing you some of the best of British Isles geology - live to your home! Each hour long Zoom session will spotlight an area of outstanding British Geology which your hosts know well. Through the medium of maps, diagrams, photographs and YouTube video, each area will come alive!

Areas include The Isle of Arran, The Jurassic Coast of Dorset & Devon, The Ardnamurchan Peninsula, The Llyn Peninsula, Charnwood Forest and The Isle of Rum.


There’s an old Northern saying ‘Where there’s muck, there’s brass’. It’s an indication that when people get their hands dirty they usually made money. This applied on the small scale to individuals and even on the large scale to whole communities or even areas of our country. During this second part of the course we'll be continuing to discover more of the economic geology on your doorstep.

The British Isles is considered to be the ‘cradle of geology’ with many of the principles which guide our science and the major time divisions being defined right here. But all of the discoveries were made by individuals who had the foresight and courage to put forward their ideas, often facing ridicule from the religious leaders of the day. In this course we’ll be examining the lives and achievements of some of the men and women of geology.

This course provides an overview of igneous rocks and the processes that produce them. It looks at how plate tectonics defines what rocks form in particular locations around the world. You’ll learn about the minerals that form in rocks like basalt and granite and why some rocks have quartz whilst others do not. Warning, Zoom meetings may at times be explosive!

There’s an old Northern saying ‘Where there’s muck, there’s brass’. It’s an indication that when people get their hands dirty they usually made money. This applied on the small scale to individuals and even on the large scale to whole communities or even areas of our country. During this Course I want you to discover some of the economic geology on your doorstep, or in your own backyard. In some cases this will literally be so, in others, it will be down the street, on a nearby derelict site,strange diggings in old woodland or in the built environment of your locality.

A few years ago we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the publication of William Smith’s geological map of England and Wales. For the very first time we were able to see something of the immense amount of time it has taken to form and shape these islands. Since then, many more people has added pieces to that jigsaw of geological time, such that we now know that the beginnings of Britain go back 3 billion years!
This course takes a closer look at the rocks and the scenery of selected parts of Britain and at the people who have helped us to unravel their fascinating story. We’ll be taking a journey through our past and using the rocks, the maps and the scenery to help us to discover more. No previous knowledge is expected or a required, just a sense of adventure!


“Around the world in 10 great geological stories” is a 10- week course that will take a look at some of the world’s finest geology. It begins with a look at Iceland and how our interpretation has radically changed in the last few years. Also covered are: The Channel Isles, The Himalayas, fabulous fossils from China, Cyprus, The Grand Canyon, The Rockies and Montserrat.

An online course for anyone interested in the geological history of the British Isles. A bumpy ride that commences around 3 billion years ago. You’ll have to endure violent volcanoes, plate collisions, warm coral reefs,steaming equatorial forests, hot dry deserts and ice ages before we eventually arrive at the present day. 

You’ll have gathered from the somewhat quirky title of this course that we are going to be looking at sedimentary rocks and the processes that made them. It’s a story in time, deep geological time, with many of the rocks having been formed millions of years ago. But how long did it take to form what we see? Were the sediments accumulating slowly, or were they formed very quickly?

Over the coming weeks we’re going to be exploring the geology of “God’s own county” - Yorkshire.  In the best traditions we may stray across the border into Teesside, rather like Yorkshire County Cricket Club for these are rocks that were ‘born in Yorkshire’.

Over the coming weeks we’re going to be exploring the basics of our planet. We begin at the beginning some 4,650 million years ago and go on to examine what the Earth is made of and how it works; the story of life on the planet and much, much more.

April 28 Metal mining in the Southwest of England

The Romans found tin in Cornwall, and that was singularly their most significant discovery, which brought riches to their empire. But tin isn’t the only metal to be found in Southwest England. There was also copper, lead, zinc, iron and today there’s the prospect of lithium and rare earth elements. This promises to be a great day of discovery for everyone!

April 21 There’s gold in them thar hills!

Over many years significant amounts of gold have been found in somepretty remote parts of the British Isles. We’ve even had our own version of a Klondike gold rush! Today, there are gold prospects in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This day school will take a look at the gold deposits of the UK, past, present and future.

April 7 Major limestones of the UK

Limestones occur throughout the country. They are amongst our most useful rocks. How did they form and what are they used for? In this day you’ll be learning all about limestones, from the Cambro-Ordovician Durness of NW Scotland to the Cretaceous Chalk of Kent. If there’s a limestone near you - we will be covering it!

This day school is suitable for anyone wanting to learn more about Britain’s oil and gas

resources. We will cover how the oil formed, the geology of our oilfields, how the materials

are extracted and then distributed.

DELIVERY: The day school will be delivered by live Zoom presentations and material that you can

access on our Moodle platform, by email or via printed sheets.

Inside out geology - reading rock outcrops virtually. With no outside fieldwork possible, we’re showing you some of the skills that you need to really understand what’s going on at various rock outcrops. You will discover that every picture tells a geological story, if only you can read it! It may not be quite the same as real fieldwork, but we’ll do our best for you.

Minerals are the Earth’s chemistry store. The fact that there are thousands of minerals is testament to the complexity of Earth chemistry. We’ll be asking and answering some of the basic questions about how minerals form, how to identify them and find out what uses they can be put to. The day will be a lively mixture of activities for you to do that everyone should find interesting.

The vastness of geological time is something that we take for granted, yet its discovery by James Hutton was the simple key that unlocked the secrets of the Earth. During this day we’ll be examining aspects of geological time, including how we divide it up and how we can now measure it with increasing accuracy. It’s a long journey that for us, at least, lasts just one day!

A course area where one off talks are uploaded for limited time and use