ESC-10070 - Minerals and Rocks
Coordinator: Ralf Gertisser Room: WSF32 Tel: +44 1782 7 33181
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

This module develops the understanding of the classification and formation of solid Earth materials by examining these in hand specimen and up close using a petrological microscope. It places emphasis on the development of essential geological skills, including the accurate description of minerals as well as igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, including their proportions and inter-relationships, as well as the recognition and petrographic and textural description of rocks.

The module provides an introduction to common rock forming minerals and igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in hand specimen and using a petrological microscope. Students develop the ability to describe these geological materials and their properties at a range of scales and reach informed conclusions about their possible identity and origins.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

identify minerals and igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks using hand specimens and a petrological microscope: 1,2
describe geological materials and their physical and optical properties at a range of scales and reach informed conclusions about their possible identity and origins: 1,2
evaluate and interpret the underlying concepts of the terminology, nomenclature and classification of minerals and rocks: 1,2

Study hours

Active Learning Hours: 60
- Teaching sessions: 18 x 2.5 hours - 45 hours
- Guided independent study: 5 x 2.5 hours - 12.5 hours
- Practical test: 1 x 2.5 hours - 2.5 hours
Independent study and completion of assessment: 90

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Laboratory Practicals weighted 50%
Practical test
Two hour practical test of material covered in the practicals. This includes mineral and igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rock identification in hand specimen and under the microscope, and any other aspects taught in the practicals.

2: Report weighted 50%
1,500 word illustrated written report
Students are provided with a mineral or rock specimen from a classic locality in the UK or abroad as well as supporting information. Students are asked to describe and classify their sample, and describe and discuss its geological context and geological history in an illustrated written report of no more than 1,500 words. There is no minimum word limit; the word count of 1,500 words lets students know how much detail is expected in the report.