Examinations and Boards

Contents of this section:

[Note. An asterisk denotes a reference to a previously published or recurrent entry.]

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A by-election will be held on Thursday, 6 January, to fill the following vacancies.


One member (vice Professor Sako)

Modern History

One ordinary member (vice Dr Brockliss)


Two ordinary members (vice Professor Parker and Mr Darlington)

Those elected will hold office from the beginning of Hilary Term 2000 until the beginning of Michaelmas Term 2000.


One official member (vice Professor Mayr-Harting)

To hold office until the beginning of Michaelmas Term 2001.

Nominations in writing by two electors will be received by ther Secretary of Faculties at the University Offices up to 4 p.m. on Monday, 13 December, and by six electors up to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, 21 December.

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Preliminary Examination

Theology: P.J.M. SOUTHWELL, MA, Fellow of Wycliffe Hall (address: Queen's College)

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Law Moderations

P.J. CLARKE, BCL, MA, Fellow of Jesus

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Honour Moderations

Classics: E.L. BOWIE, MA, Fellow of Corpus Christi

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Honour School

Natural Science—Physics: P. EWART, MA, Fellow of Worcester

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Bachelor of Fine Art

Final Examination: D.B. CATLING, MA, Fellow of Linacre (address: Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art)

Master of Science

Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing: L.N. TREFETHEN, MA, Fellow of Balliol (address: Computing Laboratory)

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In accordance with the regulations for the Honour School of Natural Science (Earth Sciences, four-year course) the following subjects and syllabuses are published by the Sub-faculty of Earth Sciences for examination in the fourth year of study. Candidates are required to offer four subjects.

Subjects and syllabuses for Part B of the Second Public Examination of the four-year course (Trinity Term 2001)


Fossil Lagerstatten; Precambrian microbiotas; Origins of eucaryotes and animals; The Cambrian explosion and the Cambrian fauna; Exobiology—Life on Mars?; Arthropod evolution; Palaeozoic biogeography; Palaeozoic benthic communities; Terrestrialisation; Great flying fossils—Solnhofen and amber; Ammonite palaeobiology; Ammonite evolution; Dinosaur palaeobiology; the Morrison Formation; End Cretaceous Marine Extinctions; Rancho La Brea—the Great Dying; Hominid evolution.

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Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry

Topics in geochemistry and cosmochemistry from: Pre-solar grains and cosmology; Planetesimal formation; Core composition and formation; Tracer mixing in the atmosphere; Transition metal biogeochemistry; Origin of life; Snowball Earth; Tracer mixing in the oceans.

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Petrological Processes

This course aims to develop an understanding of the fundamental small-scale processes which shape the igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Earth's crust, through a consideration of some or all of the following topics: crystallisation, grain growth, crystal size and spatial distributions, diffusion-controlled microstructures, and the behaviour of two-phase (solid-fluid or solid-melt) systems. It is simultaneously an investigation of the kinetics of these processes and of their implications for the observable microstructures of igneous and metamorphic rocks, and it will review the state of the art of interpreting the petrographic features of crystalline rocks.

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Topics in seismology. Quantification of earthquakes: earthquake stress drops; fault dynamics and rupture speeds; effect of fault heterogeneity on seismograms; earthquakes as indicators of tectonic strain; the use of synthetic seismograms in determining the seismic moment tensor and other source characteristics; the centroid moment tensor technique. Structural Seismology: Ray theory and ray tracing in heterogeneous media. Surface waves and free oscillations and the calculation of theoretical seismograms; inverse problems in seismology; techniques of seismic tomography.

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Records of Major Environmental Change in Earth History

This course is structured with introductory lectures or practicals on key topics, followed by independent reading, presentation of seminars and writing of extended essays. Possible subjects to be covered include: Greenhouse Earth; Time scales of environmental change; Triassic/Jurassic boundary events; Mid-Cretaceous terrestrial environments and evolution; The Messinian Crisis; Initiation of Antarctic glaciation; Pliocene warmth; Phanerozoic sea water chemistry and carbonate mineralogy.

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Environmental, Rock and Palaeo-Magnetism

The magnetic record in rocks and minerals carries information that can be used to study problems in a very diverse range of geological, environmental and archaeological fields. This course will cover the fundamental physics that underpins the technique, and will use case studies to illustrate the application of the technique. These may include: Understanding the evolution of the Southern Hemisphere oceans and climate through the Cenozoic; Study of climate change through magnetic properties of loess and soils; The Messinian salinity crisis; Transport dynamics of pyroclastic flows; Mechanisms of volcano evolution; Aspects of continental deformation and plate motions; Plate dynamics and early faunal evolution; The dynamics of Earth's magnetic field; Fundamentals of rock and mineral magnetism. (Two or three laboratory-based projects linked to this course will be available each year, to carry out research into a particular geological or environmental problem.)

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Anatomy of a Mountain Belt

A geotraverse across the Andes of South America. The aim of this option is to produce a crustal scale cross-section through the Andes and elucidate the geological evolution and main tectonic process which control the crustal structure. The option will be mainly practical based, involving analysis of geological and topographic maps, Landsat images, seismic reflection profiles, seismicity, gravity and topographic data, combined with a literature review.

Geophysical Geodesy and Continental Deformation

This course presents the major geophysical tools for measuring active continental deformation and shows how these measurements have been used to investigate the dynamics of that deformation. The methods presented include triangulation, the Global Positioning system, Synthetic Aperture Radar, earthquake seismology, and palaeomagnetic rotations. The results are applied to the dynamics of crustal deformation in Asia, the Aegean, California, New Zealand, Turkey, and the Pacific North-West.

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Tectonics of Arc-Continent Collisions

The collision between rifted continental margins and oceanic arcs, so well seen in the west and south-west Pacific during the last ten million years, generates short-lived mountain belts because subduction flip terminates collisional shortening by obduction of a thin hot lithosphere with a primitive arc, ophiolitic forearc, and forearc basin and the thrusting of nappes with the syntectonic advective introduction of heat by voluminous mafic magmas to generate regional Barrovian metamorphism. During the early Ordovician, the rifted margin of Laurentia was destroyed by collision with a continentward-facing island arc. In western Ireland, this event is spectacularly recorded by magnificent geology in Connemara and Murrisk in Counties Galway and Mayo. This course consists of ten days in the field in western Ireland preceded by four hours of introductory lectures and a two hour post-field trip summary session. A pre-requisite for attendance will be completion of Anatomy of a mountain belt and a brief interview by Professor Dewey. The course will be available to about ten motivated students. Participants will will be asked to contribute to the cost of the field trip.

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