Structural Geology

Structural geology is concerned with the geometry and distribution of rocks in the subsurface and is therefore absolutely crucial for any applied aspect of geology and geosciences. The field of structural geology includes analysing how rocks deform, flow and are transported due to tectonics and other forces. Therefore, several types of quantitative analyses are important to help to understand the strain and tectonic history of rocks and interpret their tectonic setting. This module provides an introductory level grounding in structural geology, deformation, rheology and tectonics at a university level. It covers geological structures and tectonics at a variety of scales and uses map interpretation and practical experiments as the main practical component. Topics include identifying and understanding geological structures, the basis and origins of plate tectonics theory, geological map interpretation, identifying various structures from maps, plotting structural data stereographically, stress and strain analysis, and deformation processes and rheology.

The module is delivered through a combination of lecture, practical and hands-on lab classes where analogue geological processes are tested and the relevant concepts explored.

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

  • Identify and understand key geological structures.
  • Understand the basis of plate tectonics.
  • Interpret geological maps.
  • Plot and read stereonets.
  • Understand the relationship between stress and strain.
  • Carry out basic strain analysis.


  • Practical exam
  • Theory exam