Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Rocks and Minerals
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 11 x 2 Hour Practicals
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: Practical notebook.  20%
Semester Assessment In-Course Assessment: 2 in-course short practical tests.  30%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Written exam.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Supplementary examination  2 hour practically-based examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* describe the more common minerals and rocks,

* outline the principles of rock and mineral classification

* demonstrate the ability to use both hand-lens and petrological microscope

* have developed skills to systematically describe rocks and minerals

* demonstrate knowledge of the importance of practical work in geology

* demonstrate basic recording skills required for mineral and rock description and identification

* maintain a laboratory notebook


This module aims to provide a training in the systematic description of minerals and rocks which leads to their description and identification. The module aims to explain the origin of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks as well as explaining the links between them.

The student will gain familiarity with the more common minerals and rocks, learn the principles of classification and methods of identification, and will be able to identify them both in hand-specimen and under the microscope. The student will gain practice in the systematic description of rocks and minerals and appreciate the importance of practical work in geology. To develop the basic recording skills required for mineral and rock description and identification. A laboratory notebook will be used throughout the practical course and collected as part of the assessment.

A basic training will be provided in the application of the petrological microscope in geology.

Brief description

The emphasis throughout is on the practice of working with rocks and minerals. In the early lectures minerals will be defined and their classification explained. The accompanying practical classes will introduce how the main varieties of minerals are identified and provide practice in mineral recognition.

Igneous rocks will be considered as physical and chemical systems. The classification of igneous rocks will be introduced and their mode of occurrence described. The practical identification and description of the more common igneous rock types will be emphasised in this section of the course. The factors which control the evolution of igneous rocks will be described.

Sedimentary rocks will be described. The formation of sedimentary rocks: erosion, transport, deposition and diagenesis. Siliciclastic sedimentary rocks; carbonates - main rock types will be studied in practical classes. Common fossils. Evaporites, coal and ironstones.

Metamorphic rocks are outlined in the lectures and the accompaying practical classes provide an introduction to recognising the most important varieties.


This module is at CQFW Level 4