• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Andrew Berry
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to understand the processes and environments in which magmatic and metamorphic rocks form, including the following topics: the relations between crystallisation and deformation in metamorphic rocks and their link to evolution of orogens; reconstruction of plate tectonic processes from detailed investigation at a grain scale; construction and detailed interpretation of phase diagrams; the role of fluid phases and the use of mineralogy, trace elements, and radiogenic and stable isotopes to constrain magmatic and metamorphic processes.

Laboratory: Characterisation and interpretation of microstructures in igneous and metamorphic rocks using the optical microscope, numerical modelling of trace element fractionation, construction and interpretation of phase diagrams, and fieldwork.

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately. Separate, more advanced laboratory work will be assigned to Masters students.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Recognise key metamorphic and magmatic minerals in hand specimens and thin sections. Classify magmatic and metamorphic rocks based on their mineralogy.
  2. Understand conditions of rock formation derived from textural and compositional information.
  3. Link rock forming processes to tectonic environments.
  4. Construct phase diagrams and use them to interpret rock textures and rock forming processes.
  5. Interpret and evaluate relevant information from the scientific literature.
  6. Perform calculations to model the behaviour of trace and major elements, and interpret the results.
  7. Understand igneous and metamorphic processes and explain these to their peers.

Other Information

There will be a cost for the fieldtrips - to be advised. 2019 cost was $60.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Laboratory work (20) [LO 2,4,6]
  2. Field excursion reports (10) [LO 1,3,5]
  3. Poster presentation (20) [LO 5]
  4. Theory examination (20) [LO 3,7]
  5. Practical examination (20) [LO 1,6]
  6. In-class quizzes (10) [LO 7]

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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures plus 1 x 3 hour practical per week.
  • A two day field trip to Cooma (dates will be advertised in class summary)
  • Approximately 55 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks.

Inherent Requirements

In this course students learn how to identify and analyse rocks and minerals, which requires students to

  • make and interpret visual observations.

Students who cannot meet this requirement will not be able to complete compulsory assessment tasks and therefore will not be able to complete the course.

Students in this course must typically participate in an approximately two day field trip. This requires students to:

  • Travel to the field location and stay nearby.
  • Safely traverse short distances (approximately 10 - 500m) over uneven terrain.

Students who cannot meet these requirements may be able to negotiate alternative participation and assessment requirements with the course convenor. Please see the trip information page for more information.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level EMSC or CHEM courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed EMSC3024 or GEOL3024

Prescribed Texts



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2820 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person N/A

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