Igneous and Metamorphic Geology


This module will provide you with an understanding of the chemical and mineralogical processes that underpin the formation and evolution of igneous and metamorphic rocks. This will allow you to interpret these rocks through their chemistry and from the microscopic scale of mineral assemblages and textures through to regional-scale tectonic associations and characteristics.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Classify and identify the most common igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  • Use phase petrology, the phase rule, mathematical expressions and geochemistry to understand melting and crystallisation processes, and magma compositional modifications.
  • Evaluate how the geochemistry of igneous rocks can be used to infer tectonic setting.
  • Interpret textures of igneous minerals in thin section.
  • Use petrographical study to assign Metamorphic Zones to samples.
  • Assess how metamorphic processes relate to the formation of ore deposits.
  • Apply principles of phase equilibria and thermodynamics to metamorphic reactions.
  • Interpret tectonic setting and protolith characteristics of metamorphic rocks.
  • Evaluate the uses and implications of metamorphism in geochronology.


  • Coursework based on practical module content
  •  Exam