UCL Module Catalogue


Igneous Petrology (GEOL0011)

Key information

Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Teaching department
Earth Sciences
Credit value
GEOL0001 Earth Materials is a prerequisite. GEOL0002 From Petrology to Petrogenesis is recommended.

Alternative credit options

There are no alternative credit options available for this module.


This course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the nature and origin of igneous rocks, from their formation and distribution to their volcanic exporessions and association with particular plate tectonic settings and to what extent these features have remained the same or changed with time during the geological history of the Earth. The course also builds on fundamental concepts of geochemistry and mineralogy to explain phase behaviour in high temperature systems, and dynamic processes which can, for example, lead to formation of primary igneous ore bodies. Integral practical classes will use both hand specimens and optical mineralogy to understand diagnostic textures - which are used to identify and classify igneous rocks.

By the end of this module students should:

  • know the terminology applied to important families of igneous rocks;
  • recognize and identify igneous rocks, and their constituent minerals;
  • be able to provide a petrographic description of igneous rocks, their mineral compositions and textures;
  • understand the processes by which igneous rocks are formed;
  • be able to describe the tectonic settings in which igneous rocks occur including a preliminary assessment of volcanic hazard.

GEOL0001 Earth Materials is a prerequisite. GEOL0002 From Petrology to Petrogenesis is recommended.

Module deliveries for 2020/21 academic year

Intended teaching term: Term 2     Undergraduate (FHEQ Level 5)

Teaching and assessment

Mode of study
Methods of assessment
60% Unseen two and a half hour written examination
40% Coursework
Mark scheme
Numeric Marks

Other information

Number of students on module in previous year
Module leader
Professor Adrian Jones
Who to contact for more information

Last updated

This module description was last updated on 5th March 2020.