Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Earth Processes & Products builds on the "big picture" presentation of Earth systems presented in semester 1 (GEOS1040). The course details the processes that have shaped and continue to shape our planet, and the products of these processes that form the world around us. To this end, the course examines in detail the chemistry and structure of rock forming minerals, formation and evolution of magmas, the characteristics of volcanoes and their products, changes in rocks caused by internal processes of deformation and heating, and processes that sculpt Earth's surface. Formation and human use of Earth's energy and mineral resources are also addressed, including current and possible future energy sources. A two-day field trip is held over one weekend during the semester to bring students into direct contact with the processes that shape our planet. The topics covered provide the necessary grounding for continuing studies in a major in Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe the concepts and scientific principles behind the major themes in Earth Science and be able to communicate and apply these principles;

2. Collect and accurately record observational data and draw conclusions/identification from the observations;

3. Work safely and effectively in the laboratory and field;

4. Communicate observations and interpretations from field data.


The course examines the dynamics of planet Earth, concentrating on the physical processes, the products of that make up our planet. Topics are broadly categorized into the major themes of Building Blocks, Igneous Processes & Products, Mountain Building: The Processes & Internal Effects, Earth surface processes, Sedimentary Environments & Products, and Earth Resources.

An emphasis is placed on the chemical makeup of planet Earth, & the processes which operate. Topics include:

  • Rock-forming minerals - chemistry structure & relation to environment   
  • Formation, properties & evolution of magmas & igneous rocks
  • Volcanoes & their products       
  • Mountain building: metamorphism & deformation processes in rocks      
  • Surface processes: weathering, erosion, soils, landscape evolution
  • Depositional environments & sedimentary rocks
  • Renewable & non-renewable resources, fossil fuels, metallic resources, environmental consequences.


Assessment items

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Report: Excursion report

In Term Test: Two open book practical examination

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory fieldwork induction.

Contact hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 12 hour(s) per Term Full Term

Field study comprises two-day field trip held on a weekend.


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 2.5 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 2

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.