Geology AS & A Level
This course is ideal for anyone with an interest in the origin and structure of the Earth. You will be taught about the Earth’s composition and internal processes by studying the geological history of the Earth, and by analysing fossils and rock structure.
A minimum of 4 subjects at grade 5 or above at GCSE plus English Language at grade 4 or above. You must have a grade 5 in Maths, 5 in Additional, 55 in Triple or 55 in Double Science.
What will I study?
In the first year of the course, there is an emphasis on the foundations of the subject, in particular learning about minerals, the three main groups of rocks, fossil formation, volcanic eruptions, and geological time. In the second year, this knowledge is extended into further details about the formation of different rock types, engineering geology and mining, earthquakes, and the evolution of life and climate on earth.
Local field trips will allow you to extend your class-based learning. The course is taught in a purpose-built geology laboratory with access to a large number of specimens that are used in lessons. The laboratory also houses an extensive range of practical equipment.
Method of delivery
You will typically be in College four days per week, with lesson style varying according to subject. In-College delivery is supported by online resources, and students develop strong independent learning skills to equip them for their next steps.
How will I be assessed?
You will receive a variety of classwork and homework exercises throughout the course allowing you to practise the theory and skills you have learnt during the course. This will include past paper questions, enabling you to develop the technique needed to be successful in the A Level exams.
In addition to theoretical work, the science courses have a significant practical element and you will undertake a series of practical activities that allow you to develop your skills and techniques. You will be continually assessed on this element of the course, with feedback provided to allow you to improve and meet the requirements. On completion of the course you will receive your exam grade together with a Practical Endorsement, which shows that you have the skills and ability to work in a laboratory and use the equipment safely to carry out practical tasks and research.
Good course combinations
Geology works well with Geography and Biology in particular, but also complements other science subjects. Other students have successfully studied Geology in combination with humanities subjects in the past.
Your next steps
Many students find work in environment-based public service, planning, engineering, mining and quarrying, the oil and gas industries, conservation and heritage. Past students have gone on to university to study geology or physical geography and into careers in the environmental sector.