Exploring rocks, minerals and fossils

Course Dates: 28/06/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Explore agates, ammonites, granites and more. A hands-on introduction to the basics of the identification and classification of the common rocks, minerals and fossils. Charles Clarke (MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology from University College London) has a special interest in hominin evolutionary research and is also committed to introducing geology to a wider audience.


What is the course about?

In this course, we will be looking at a range of geological specimens from the tutor’s personal collection. You will learn to identify the common transparent minerals such as quartz and calcite, study the variety of volcanoes around the world and identify their lavas and discover the structure and life stories of common fossils.

What will we cover?

- The varieties of quartz from amethyst to agate and flint
- Some common ores of metals found in the British Isles
- Granites and allied rocks, their formation and how to identify them
- Volcanoes and their lavas
- Geological hazards; earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides
- The building stones of London; finding geology all around us
- How fossils are formed and their uses from Neolithic burials to oil exploration
- Describing and identifying a range of common minerals and fossils.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Use a simple mineral identification tool kit
- Identify a range of common rocks, minerals and fossils
- Have a basic knowledge of building stones used in London
- Tell a bivalve from a brachiopod and a trilobite from an ammonite.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course that is open to all and no prior knowledge of geology is necessary. An absolute minimum of chemical formulae will be used and always explained. However, you will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course and to participate fully in discussions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course is based at City Lit but there may be a short walk outside to look at building stones.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs but bring along a hand lens/magnifying glass if you have one. Also it would be useful to have a Mineral, Rock and Fossil I.D. book. There are several suitable ones published by Collins, Hamlyn and Dorling Kindersley.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HS117 Geology beneath British landscapes.


Customer Reviews 4 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

This course provided very good introduction to the subject, and supplied useful pointers on how to learn more about rocks and minerals.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 03/07/2019)
An excellent introduction to Geology by an experienced and helpful tutor.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 01/07/2019)
A sound basic introduction to general geology
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 01/07/2019)
Really enjoyed the course. Great introduction to Minerals and Rocks. The tutor was very knowledgeable and engaging.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 30/06/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Charles Clarke Tutor Website

Charles Clarke grew up in the midlands of Ireland and currently resides in Central London. He became interested sciences from an early age, eventually pursuing a career in archaeology, human evolution and the geological sciences. He successfully comleted a B.Sc. in Applied Archaeology at the Sligo Institute of Technology in 2011 and graduated with a M.Sc. in Palaeolanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology at the University College London Institute of Archaeology in 2012. Over the years he has conducted work in Spain, France and Germany on various Late Pleistocene archaeological sites ranging in age from 120,000 years of age to 23,000 years of age. He began work as a commercial archaeologist in the UK in 2017 and has continued in this field to the present day. He still finds time to teach a number of courses at City Lit and enjoys talking about all aspects of archaeology, geology, palaeontology and palaeoanthropology.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: HS024

Sun, day, 28 Jun - 28 Jun '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £47.00
Concession: £30.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.