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Module GL2201: Mineralogy

Module GL2201
Co-ordinator: Dr Ian Sanders
Course Type:  
Assessment: Theory examination (60%); Practical examination (20%); In course exercises (15%); Field Trip (5%)
ECTS: 5 Credits


Contact hours & timing:

Semester One
Lectures Semester 1, two lectures
Practicals: One 2 hour practical per week semester 1


The aims of this module are to introduce the study of minerals - the solid chemical compounds from which rocks are made. It includes the appearance of minerals in hand specimens, the essentials of crystallography to explain their shapes and other properties, the practical use and the underlying principles of polarised light microscopy to look at minerals in transparent slices of rock called thin sections, and a systematic review of the main groups of minerals covering where they are found, what they look like, what elements they contain, and their physical stability. The module includes a half-day field trip to Dalkey Quarry and Killiney. 

Learning outcomes:

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

  • Operate a polarised light microscope to describe minerals in thin sections
  • Outline the relationship between the atomic structure of minerals and their appearance in hand sample and thin section of rock. (PO2)


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Last updated 23 August 2011