A Level

The course also introduces you to the many vocational aspects of earth science, such as hazard prediction, engineering geology, resource exploration and land contamination.

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The study of Geology is your opportunity to discover what has made the earth tick over the last 4,600 million years. Geology also offers some exciting fieldwork opportunities including day trips to the Lake District, North Yorkshire Moors and Pennines, as well as a residential trip to the French Alps.

Course Content

The subject content for A level Geology is assessed across three components:

Component 1: Geological investigations includes elements, minerals and rocks, surface and internal processes, geological time and Earth structure and global tectonics.

Component 2: Interpreting the Geological Record includes rock forming processes, rock deformation, past life and past climates, Earth materials and natural resources.

Component 3: Geological Themes includes geohazards, geological map applications, Quaternary geology and geology of the lithosphere.

(Exam board: Eduqas)
(Specification code: A480)

How it is Taught

All aspects of the teaching and learning of geology are planned and implemented to make the subject accessible and enjoyable. Students are given well-designed learning booklets for each topic. The booklets contain a syllabus summary, text and case study information and feature problem-solving activities related to mineral, rock and fossil specimens, diagrams, numerical data, photographs and maps.

There is no course work. Instead, students develop their knowledge and understanding of scientific methods and practical skills through a series of laboratory and field-based activities. Field trips include one day excursions to sites in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors. In year two, students have the opportunity to attend a week-long trip to the French Alps.

Assessment Information

Component 1: Physical Geography, 2 hours 15 min exam, 35% of A Level

Component 2: Human Geography, 1 hour 45 min exam, 30% of A Level

Component 3: Geographical Investigation, 2 hours, 35% of A Level

Entry Requirements

You must have at least a grade 4 in GCSE Science, GCSE Maths and GCSE English. No prior study of Geology is necessary. Hardly any students have any prior experience in studying Geology.

In this subject, particular skills and aptitudes will be required, many of which will be demonstrated by students’ GCSE profiles.

Students will also need to meet the general College entry requirements. Entry requirements are subjects to change.

Careers & HE Information

Geosciences is available as a degree level subject in about 50 universities where both BSc and four-year MSc courses exist. Every year, nearly half of our A level Geology students move on to Geology or related degree courses. Geology can be studied as a single subject or as part of a joint degree with either Geography or Physical Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Maths or Astronomy. Some students have found studying A Level Geology useful in Environmental Science, Civil Engineering and Archaeology degrees.

Useful Subject Combinations

Geology is a science course and many of our student’s study Geology in combination with Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology or Applied Science. Many Geography students also do Geology because there is a common link with an interest in the environment and natural landscapes. Students who primarily chose humanities subjects such as History, or IT based subjects often pick Geology because they want to study at least one science-based topic as part of their A Level curriculum.

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