Methods on Research and Analysis of Minerals and Rocks

School  Natural Sciences
Academic Unit
 Geology Department
Level of Studies
Course Code
Εξάμηνο σπουδών  8ο
Course Title
 Methods on Research and Analysis of Minerals and Rocks
Independent Teaching Activities
 Lectures, tutorials and laboratory work
Weekly Teaching Hours
 2 (lect.), 1 (lab)., 1(t) 
Credits  5
Course Type
 Field of Science and Skills Development (theoretical background and use of the main analytical techniques used in the study of earth materials)
Prerequisite Courses

Typically, there are not prerequisite course. Essentially, the students should possess:

(a) knowledge provided through the previously taught theoretical courses of “Earth Materials I”, “Earth Materials I”,  “Chemistry” and “Physics”.

(b) laboratory skills obtained through the previously attended laboratories included in the courses outlined above.
Language of Instruction & Examinations
Greek. Teaching may be however performed in English in case foreign students attend the course.
Is the Course offered to Erasmus Students
Course Web-Page (URL)
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course the student will be able to:                    

  1. Decide the proper method for mineral or rock analys (including organic sediments) is according to the demands of a specific application, having acquired knowledge on the principles of some of the most common qualitative and quantitative methods used for mineralogical and geochemical analysis.
  2. Use and know how to prepare samples to be analysed by each method

By the end of the course the student will have further developed the following skills /competences:

  1. Ability to interpret the data obtained by each of the methods using dedicated software.
  2. Ability to manage analytical data.
  3. Ability to exhibit knowledge and understanding of the essential facts, concepts, theories and applications of the main analytical techniques employed during the study of earth materials
  4. Ability to apply this knowledge and understanding to the solution of problems related to material analysis
  5. Αbility to adopt and apply the appropriate analytical methodology for studying materials non familiar with
  6. Study skills needed for continuing professional development.
  7. Ability to interact with others in issues concerning analytical techniques and their application in earth materials analysis.
General Competences
  • Searching, analysis and synthesis of facts and information, as well as using the necessary technologies
  • Autonomous (Independent) work
  • Group work


Principles and uses of X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Electron microprobe analysis, Infrared, Raman and Mössbauer spectroscopy, ICP-AES and ICP-MS, differential thermal analysis, optical cathodoluminescence

Laboratory work

Interpretation of the results obtained through each method by the dedicated software packages and the accompanying databases.
  • Lectures, seminars and laboratory work face to face.
  • Lectures: using slides for overhead projector and/or power-point presentations.
  • Open eClass - Asynchronous eLearning Platform: storage and presentation of teaching material.
  • Laboratories:  Students are assigned a thin section suite to work out an essay on the metamorphic conditions and processes of a specific study area.
Use of Information & Communication Technology
 Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (e.g. powerpoint) in teaching. The lectures content of the course for each chapter are uploaded on the internet, in the form of a series of ppt files, where from the students can freely download them using a password which is provided to them at the beginning of the course.
Teaching Methods
Activity Semester workload
 Lectures (2 conduct hours per week x 13 weeks)  2 x 13=26
 Laboratory work (2 conduct hour per week x 13 weeks) – analyzing a suite of materials (mainly petrological and archaeological) by means of various analytical methodologies and evaluation of the results obtained  

1 x 13=13

 Writing of scientific reports for communicating the analytical results obtained through the laboratory exercises  1 x 13=13
Sample preparation for their study in the laboratory 1 x 8=8
Hours for private study of the student and preparation of home-works and reports, for the Laboratory, and preparation for the Laboratory  (study of techniques and theory) 5 x 13=65
 Total number of hours for the Course  125
 Student Performance Evaluation
  1. Written examination (75% of the final mark)
  2. An essay comprising the outcome of the exercise assignments on the analyzed materials (25% of the final mark).

Percentages are valid t only when the student secures the minimum mark of 5 in the final written examination

Greek grading scale: 1 to 10. Minimum passing grade: 5.

Grades <3 correspond to ECTS grade F.

Grade 4 corresponds to ECTS grade FX.

For the passing grades the following correspondence normally holds:

5 <-> E, 6 <-> D, 7 <-> C, 8 <-> Β and >9 <-> A
Attached Bibliography

Suggested bibliography:

  1. Notes of lecturers in Greek.
  2. Various relevant scientific papers
  3. Sections of the user manuals of the various analytical instruments and their dedicated software packages