This book consists of short course notes designed for participants of the 1983 Geological Association of Canada Annual Meeting held in Victoria, British Columbia, May 8-10 1983. After a brief introduction and historical overview, the origin of coal and systems of coal rank classification are considered. The petrographic composition of coal covering macerals, lithotypes, mineral matter and trace elements is covered in some detail. Oxidation and weathering are discussed, sampling, sample preparation and petrographic methods are described. The relationship of petrographic properties to other coal properties, and the geological and technological applications form a major part of the course notes.