Volcanoes and Tectonics - Understanding Earth's Explosive Nature

Ref: C2341901

Have you ever wondered why volcanoes erupt, or what happens if you poke lava with a stick? If so, then this course is for you! Volcanoes and earthquakes are some of the most powerful forces on our planet, but to understand why they occur, we need to take a journey deep inside the earth to discover some of the dynamic processes going on under our feet. In this course we will learn about the structure of the earth, what makes this seemingly solid lump of rock we live on come to life, and how these intricate processes have led to some of the most dramatic natural hazards throughout history. We will look into the formation of volcanoes and earthquakes, research specific examples and case studies of each, and discover how scientists try to monitor these unpredictable beasts, with a view to reducing the impact on people living in their shadow. No prior geographical or geological knowledge required, just a curiosity about the planet we live on!

Additional information about this course

Actual venue is Bishop Street Methodist Church

Course aim

To provide an overview of the earth's tectonic nature, and how this leads to the creation of volcanoes and earthquakes - the most powerful events experienced by the planet.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of the structure of the Earth - what it's made of, and why this is important.
  • demonstrate an understanding of plate tectonics, and how these fundamental physical processes create some of the planet's most powerful hazards.
  • identify key features of active volcanoes and specific earthquakes through a number of case studies and real world examples.
  • demonstrate understanding of how volcanoes and earthquakes are monitored by scientists, and apply these skills to a simulated volcanic emergency!

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Volcanoes and Tectonics - Understanding Earth's Explosive Nature

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This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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