These notes are based on lectures given by one of us (J.B.T.) at the University of Texas in Austin in 1991. Part I concerns some basic features of plasma confinement by magnetic fields as an introduction to an account of plasma relaxation in Part II. Part III discusses confinement by magnetic mirrors, especially minimum- B systems It also includes a general discussion of adiabatic invariants and of the principle of maximal ordering in perturbation theory. Part IV is devoted to the analysis of perturbations in toroidal plasmas and the stability of ballooning modes.