Technology Metals for a Green Future


Learn how critical raw materials are found and used, and explore their role in contributing to a more sustainable future.

Explore the challenges of metal sourcing for modern, low-carbon technologies.

Smartphones, wind turbines, and electric cars are becoming standard features of modern life and are closely linked to a low-carbon, globally connected future. This has increased the demand for greater quantities and variety of metals to build these products, but access to many of them is restricted due to their geological or geopolitical situation.

On this course, you’ll learn how these metals are used, where they come from, and how they’re sourced. You’ll consider ways to cope with the growing demand and explore the ways in which we can achieve sustainable metals stewardship.


  • Week 1

    Technology metals for a green future 

  • Week 2

    Geology, ore deposits and minerals

  • Week 3

    Exploring and production of technology metals ores 

  • Week 4

    Responsible sourcing

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…

  • Explore where technology metals are used in the modern world, and the role that these materials have in a green future
  • Identify and describe different geological settings and rock types where technology metals are found
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the steps required before technology metals can be used in manufacturing, including exploration, extraction of ores and mineral processing
  • Describe and discuss the ways in which technology metals can be obtained responsibly, with minimal social and environmental impact

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in where the raw materials that are used to make modern technology come from, and how these can be sourced in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.

The course will be of particular interest to those working in industries along the critical raw materials value chain, particularly in the design and manufacturing of hi-tech products.

It will also be useful for school or university students looking to deepen their understanding of geology in general and ore formation and technology metals in particular, as well as those with an interest in science, economics, politics or geography, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the challenges of resource availability and sustainable development discussed in this course.

Who developed the course?

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.



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