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Edinburgh's Seven Hills

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Edinburgh's landscape is dominated by the seven hills. Each has a hard core of igneous rock, and they have been altered and eroded by natural forces and human activity. This course will include an introductory classroom session and excursions by minibus to the Seven Hills to get a glimpse into the varied geological history of Edinburgh.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No prior knowledge required.

Special Infomation

We walk at a slow pace with frequent stops, with a total walking distance of less than 5 miles each day. The excursions are suitable for anyone used to walking. We will sometimes leave the beaten track and the surface may be rough or slippery. You will need footwear with a good tread (walking boots are recommended) and waterproof clothing.

Content of Course

Day 1: classroom session, introduction to the rocks of Edinburgh and the formation of edinburgh's hills; afternoon excursion to Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags.

Day 2: minibus tour of Edinburgh's hills with short walks and outdoor tutoring at Blackford Hill, Costorphine Hill and Carlton Hill.

Teaching method(s)

Lectures and excursions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have gained:

  • an understanding of different types of volcanoes and different processes operating in their formation.
  • an appreciation of processes of glaciation and erosion and how the volcanic rocks of Edinburgh have been moulded to produce a varied landscape, important in the control of human habitation sites and providing resources for building and commerce.


Core Readings

McAdam, D., 1996. Edinburgh: A Landscape Fashioned by Geology. Edinburgh: SNH/BGS.
Land, D., 1995. Discovering Edinburgh's Volcano. Edinburgh: EGS/SNH/Historic Scotland.
Gillen, C., 2003. Geology and Landscapes of Scotland.UK: Terra Publishing.

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.

Student support

If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.