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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to the formation mechanisms and controls on formation of the three major rock groups: igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. The relationship between plate tectonics and the petrogenesis of igneous and metamorphic rocks, including types and styles of volcanic eruptions will be addressed. The formation and fill of sedimentary basins and their importance in the accumulation of hydrocarbons is an integral part of the course. Practical classes will centre around the nature of geological materials and how the atomic and molecular properties of minerals scale up to the physical properties of rocks.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Catriona Menzies

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of Beng in Petroleum Engineering (International Foundation) (Studied) or Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering (Studied) or Bachelor of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

1. Introduction to the Earth as a Planet; the constitution and physical conditions of the subsurface 2. An introduction mineral species and to the petrogenesis of three major rock groups; igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary 3. The application of various techniques in the identification of the common rock-forming minerals and of rocks important in the petroleum industry 4. The physical, chemical and mechanical properties of common sedimentary rocks. This section will focus on their reservoir and seal properties. 5. Deformation of rocks; the formation of faults and folds and their signifiicance in the petroleum industry.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 x 90 minute examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). Candidates must pass both elements of the assessment. In-course assessment will include class tests in rock and mineral identification. Resit: 100% examination (2 hours) including practical section.

Formative Assessment

WebCT-based multiple choice (MCQ) tests with on-line feedback at various time during term. Exercises with solutions during practical classes.


MCQ's were piloted for GL1004 during 2009-2010. SCEFS and other comments suggest that students find these extremely valuable, and it is intended to use MCQ tests in this course.

Course Learning Outcomes


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