Magmatic and Metamorphic Processes

Module code: GL2103
Module co-coordinator: Dr Marc Reichow

What conditions are required to form magma and why do we find some magmas erupting onto the Earth's surface while others remain in the crust? In this module, you will study the processes by which mantle and crustal rocks melt to form magmas, as well as the chemical and physical processes involved in the cooling of magmas, which result in the wide range of igneous rocks exposed at the Earth's surface. We will investigate the process of burial and heating rocks, which leads to the development of metamorphic rocks, and construct pressure, temperature, and time paths for these rocks.

We will use a variety of resources, data sets, and equipment, including a petrological microscope, to investigate macroscopic and microscopic evidence. You will examine samples of igneous and metamorphic minerals in hand-specimen and thin-section and interpret their textural relationship.


  • 16 hours of lectures
  • 32 hours of practical classes
  • 102 hours of guided independent study


  • Exam, 2 hours (70%)
  • Coursework (30%)