Geology BSC115

Learn the Fundamentals of Geological Science

Understanding Earth Science is important to many industries, from mining to meteorology and agriculture to oceanography. This will teach you about the planet you live on; and lay a valuable foundation for working in any of these industries, or progressing to study a certificate, diploma or higher qualification.


There are 9 lessons in this course:

Lesson 1. Introduction to Geology

  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Field work
  • Laboratory testing
  • Geochronology
  • Chemical analysis
  • Petrology
  • Computer analysis
  • Applications for geology
  • Basic chemistry of rocks
  • Significant elements
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Building blocks
  • Minerals and mineraloids
  • Formulation of minerals
  • Crystallisation from magma
  • Precipitation from an Aqueous Solution
  • Biological Precipitation
  • Other related processes
  • Mineral groups - silicates, non silicates

Lesson 2. Types of Rocks

  • Igneous rocks
  • Texture
  • Silica Content Classification of Igneous Rocks
  • Felsic rocks
  • Mafic rocks
  • Ultramafic rocks
  • Intermediate rocks
  • Feldspar
  • Sedimentary rocks - formation, texture, features
  • Metamorphic rocks - formation, recrystallisation, classification
  • Foliated rocks
  • Non foliated rocks
  • Mineral classification and structure
  • Pauling’s Rules on Crystal Structures
  • Geological environments and mineral formation
  • Igneous minerals
  • Metamorphic minerals
  • Sedimentary minerals
  • Hydrothermal minerals

Lesson 3. Structural Geology

  • Introduction
  • Tectonics
  • Geodynamics
  • Fractures and faults
  • Folds
  • Boudins
  • Foliations and lineations
  • Describing structures in geology
  • Designing tectonic models
  • Measurements - linear, planar, orientation of forces, stress magnitude, displacement
  • Data acquisition - field geology
  • Data synthesis and analysis -maps, cross sections, tectograms, profiles
  • Validating models

Lesson 4. Minerals

  • Identifying minerals
  • Crystal form
  • Colour
  • Streak
  • Lustre 
  • Transparency
  • Cleavage
  • Fracture
  • Tenacity 
  • Specific gravity
  • Hardness
  • Other unique properties
  • Mineral classification
  • Silicate minerals
  • Orthosilicates
  • Sorosilicates
  • Cyclosilicates
  • Tectosilicates
  • Inosilicates
  • Phyllosilicates
  • Non silicates
  • Native elements
  • Sulphides
  • Halides
  • Oxides
  • Carbonates
  • Carbon
  • Sulphates
  • Phosphates
  • Borates

Lesson 5. Geobiology

  • Earth's gases and metabolic diversity of organisms
  • Metabolic approaches
  • Oxygen producing bacteria
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Biophysical soil properties
  • Soil salinity
  • Soil acidity
  • Soil temperature
  • Soil microbiome
  • Soil biology
  • Influence of soil
  • Underwater bio physical processes
  • Coral reef formation

Lesson 6. Geophysics

  • Seismology
  • Tectonics
  • Hydrology and Glaciology
  • Geothermetry, Geomagnetometry and Petrophysics
  • Mineral physics, Geodesy and Geodynamics
  • Plate tectonics theory
  • Plate boundaries
  • Divergent boundaries
  • Convergent boundaries
  • Oceanic continental convergence
  • Oceanic oceanic convergence
  • Continental continental convergence
  • Transform fault boundaries
  • Nano tectonics

Lesson 7. Geochemistry

  • Geochemistry sub disciplines
  • Analytical geochemistry
  • Elements and isotopes
  • Isotope geochemistry
  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Low-temperature geochemistry
  • Igneous geochemistry
  • Organic geochemistry
  • Geochemical cycles
  • Interaction between earths layers
  • Separation and concentration of elements
  • Moving and mixing the earth
  • Evolution of earths atmosphere
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • Oxygen cycle
  • Carbon cycle
  • Fractionation
  • Health impacts

Lesson 8. Groundwater Hydrology

  • Introduction
  • Estimated global groundwater resources
  • Types of groundwater
  • Infiltration of water
  • Depth of groundwater
  • Aquifers
  • Types of aquifers - confines, unconfined, semi confined, perched
  • Properties of Aquifers - porosity, groundwater recharge and discharge, specific yield
  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Transmissivity
  • Glaciohydrogeology

Lesson 9. Applied Geology

  • Groundwater management
  • Groundwater value
  • Mining
  • Mining process - prospecting, exploration, development, exploitation
  • Surface mining
  • Underground mining
  • Mine rehabilitation
  • Economic geology
  • Engineering applications
  • Engineering significance
  • Geological techniques applied to engineering
  • Geohazards in engineering
  • Methodology
  • Geotourism applications
  • Geological surveys
  • Geological maps
  • Remote sensing
  • Geological observations
  • Geochemical methodology
  • Geophysical surveys
  • Traversing
  • Soil as an indicator of underlying rock type
  • Vegetation
  • Geomorphology
  • Exposure mapping
  • Test drilling
  • Preparing, using and interpreting geological maps
  • Reporting

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • 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


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) 

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Fee Information (S3)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $834.96  1 x $759.05
B 2 x $451.44  2 x $410.40

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