Mineralogy and Geochemistry
University College Dublin
Area of Study
Chemistry, Ecology, Natural Sciences
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits2.5 - 3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units3.75 - 4.5
Hours & Credits
OverviewThe module consists of linked lectures, online teaching and practical classes in the first half the semester,
followed by a group research project. The practical classes use the petrological (polarizing) microscope as a
tool for the description and identification of minerals. They cover plane polarized light and crossed polarized
light techniques and their use for the systematic description of common rock-forming minerals. The textural
difference between igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic and hydrothermal rocks will be examined under the
microscope and explained. Lectures will outline the optical theory required to understand polarized light
observations; introduce chemical concepts used in geochemistry including elements and ions, the Periodic
Table, chemical bonding, balanced chemical reactions and partition coefficients; introduce concepts in
crystallography and mineralogy including atomic structure, crystal symmetry, chemical substitution and solid
solution, exsolution and polymorphism; outline how silicate minerals are classified; introduce the
relationships between mineral atomic structure, chemical, optical and other physical properties; and
examine the evidence for the average chemical composition of the Earth and of its crust, mantle and core.
The lectures will be supplemented by online material supported by self-assessment quizzes. The group project
will employ the petrological microscope and chemical analyses of minerals to determine the chemistry and
mineralogy of a suite of rocks to better understand their origin and economic or environmental significance.
Students will produce individual written reports and a group presentation to present their findings to the
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.