To truly understand the Earth, and the rocks that form it, we must study their basic building blocks – minerals. Minerals are all around us; in rocks and sediments, in soils, in our bones and teeth, and in building materials. This course will examine the complex nature of minerals and crystals from a geological, physical and chemical perspective and will introduce the petrology of volcanic rocks, intrusive plutonic rocks, metamorphic rocks formed in the depths of mountain ranges and sedimentary rocks deposited through time. The course will train students in observations and interpretations of minerals in hand samples and in the use of optical mineralogy (rock slices under a microscope). These are key analytical methods in petrology and by doing so aims to provide students with detailed knowledge and skills inherent to all geologists, and to give a unique perspective of the Earth from the study of the small scale minerals and rocks.