Learn all about geology including geophysics, geochemistry, rocks, minerals, structural geology, groundwater hydrology, and practical applications of geology.

Course Code: BSC115
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn All About How Geology Explains The Landscapes Around Us

Geology is the study of the earth, the rocks, the materials from which the earth is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes which cause them to change over time. It is concerned with the structure of the earth at both the surface level and beneath the surface. 

Geology also overlaps with other earth sciences like hydrology and climate science. An understanding of geology not only helps us to understand the historical context of the earth’s materials and formation but also uses that knowledge to help inform us about what we might expect in the future.    

Studying geology has practical relevance in the real world in diverse ways, for example:

  • Understanding and managing groundwater

  • Informing us how to appropriately manage mining

  • Providing insight into geologic natural hazards e.g. landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions

  • Understanding and predicting seismic activity

  • Determining appropriate engineering work e.g. in construction of dams, infrastructure, buildings

  • Helping to locate underground deposits of specific rocks and minerals

  • Enabling knowledge of the effects of past episodes of climate change on the earth

  • Adding to our knowledge of how the earth formed and plate tectonics (movement of the plates on the earth’s crust)  

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction To Geology
    • Methodology
    • Applications Of Geology
    • Basic Chemistry Of Rocks
    • Rocks And Minerals
    • Building Blocks
    • Minerals & Mineraloids
    • Formation Of Minerals
    • Other Related Processes
    • Introduction To Mineral Groups
    • Silicates
    • Non-Silicate Minerals
  2. Types Of Rocks
    • Igneous Rocks
    • Sedimentary Rocks
    • Metamorphic Rocks
    • Mineral Classification And Crystal Structure
    • Simplified Review Of Pauling’s Rules On Crystal Structures
    • Geological Environments And Mineral Formation
    • Igneous Minerals
    • Metamorphic Minerals
    • Sedimentary Minerals
    • Hydrothermal Minerals
  3. Structural Geology
    • Tectonics And Geodynamics
    • Tectonics
    • Geodynamics
    • Features Of Structural Geology
    • Fractures And Faults
    • Folds
    • Boudins
    • Foliations And Lineations
    • Describing Structures In Geology
    • Designing Tectonic Models
    • Measurements
    • Data Acquisition: Field Geology
    • Data Synthesis And Analysis
    • Geological Maps And Cross Sections
    • Tectonic Maps And Structural Profiles
    • Structural Sketch-Maps
    • Block Diagrams/Tectonograms
    • Validating Models
  4. Minerals
    • Identifying Minerals
    • Mineral Classification
    • Silicate Minerals
    • Orthosilicates
    • Sorosilicates
    • Cyclosilicates
    • Tectosilicates
    • Inosilicates
    • Phyllosilicates
    • Non-Silicate Minerals
    • Native Elements
  5. Geobiology
    • Earth’s Gases And Metabolic Diversity Of Organisms
    • Metabolic Approaches
    • Oxygen-Producing (Photosynthetic) Bacteria
    • Greenhouse Gases
    • Biophysical Soil Processes
    • Soil Chemical Environment
    • Soil Microbiome
    • Soil Biology
    • Influence Of Soil
    • Underwater Bio-Physical Processes
    • Coral Reef Formation
  6. Geophysics
    • Seismology
    • Tectonics
    • Hydrology
    • Glaciology
    • Geothermetry
    • Geomagnetometry
    • Petrophysics
    • Mineral Physics
    • Geodesy
    • Geodynamics
    • Plate Tectonics Theory
    • Plate Boundaries
    • Divergent Boundaries
    • Convergent Boundaries
    • Transform Faults Boundaries
    • Nano Tectonics
  7. Geochemistry
    • Geochemistry Sub-Disciplines
    • Analytical Geochemistry
    • Elements And Isotopes
    • Isotope Geochemistry
    • Radiocarbon Dating
    • Low-Temperature Geochemistry
    • Organic Geochemistry
    • Geochemical Cycles
    • Interactions Between The Earth’s Layers
    • Separation And Concentration Of Elements
    • Moving And Mixing The Earth
    • Evolution Of The Earth’s Atmosphere
    • The Nitrogen Cycle
    • The Oxygen Cycle
    • The Carbon Cycle
    • Fractionation
    • Health Impacts
  8. Groundwater Hydrology
    • Estimated Global Groundwater Resources
    • Types Of Groundwater
    • Occurrence Of Groundwater
    • Infiltration Of Water
    • Depth To Groundwater
    • Aquifers
    • Types Of Aquifers
    • Confined Aquifer
    • Unconfined Aquifer
    • Semi-Confined Aquifer
    • Perched Aquifer
    • Properties And Parameters Of Aquifers
    • Glaciohydrogeology
  9. Applied Geology
    • Groundwater Management
    • Mining
    • Engineering
    • Geotourism
    • Geological Surveys


  • Explain the nature and scope of geology and concepts that underpin the science of geology.
  • Differentiate between rock types.
  • Explain the scope, nature and application of structural geology in today’s world.
  • Differentiate between different minerals.
  • Explain the scope, nature and application of geophysics in today’s world.
  • Explain the scope, nature and application of geobiology in today’s world.
  • Explain the nature of chemical change that can occur in the geology of a site.
  • Explain the nature and significance of groundwater on different sites.
  • Explain different practical applications for a knowledge of geology.

Why Study This Course?

Learn about geologic principles to enhance your understanding for your own land management and construction projects.
This course can be used as a start point for further study or as part of a self-designed certificate
Understanding geology can be beneficial to those wishing to understand how natural landscape processes may impact their work - for example, in horticulture this could be better understanding of soil composition or groundwater management.

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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