The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Provides an introduction to optical crystallography, rock-forming minerals and igneous petrology. The course provides the fundamentals of mineral identification using the petrological microscope, mineral chemistry, and the petrogenesis of igneous rocks in relation to plate tectonic environment. Lectures encompass the theoretical sections of the course, while the practical aspect is delivered with the use of microscopes and rock thin-sections.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify and describe rocks and minerals using a petrological microscope;

2. Interpret textures observed in igneous rocks;

3. Explain the origin and relationships of mineral groups;

4. Explain the origin of igneous rocks.


  • Polarised light in minerals
  • Minerals and their compositions
  • The petrogenesis of igneous rocks.
  • The use of the petrological microscope
  • Major rock-forming mineral groups
  • The formation of igneous rocks. 

Assumed knowledge

GEOS1040 and GEOS1050

Assessment items

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: 2 x Laboratory Reports

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

In Term Test: 2 × open book practical exams

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 2


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term