A Level Geology
Why Study This Subject?
Geology is not just about rocks. It is a multidisciplinary science that investigates the processes that happen on the earth’s surface and within it, and considers how the earth has evolved through time and potentially how it will into the future.
Geologists use this science to explore and exploit our water, mineral and energy resources; to predict volcanic and earthquake hazards; to try to prevent landslides and to protect our natural environment. Geology is also used during the construction of civil engineering projects such as buildings, tunnels and roads.
Topics you will cover
Over the two years you will develop an understanding of core concepts in geology.
You will learn about Earth’s internal structure and composition, how it formed and its influence on geological processes and products.
You will study plate tectonics; investigate what drives plate motion and how tectonics can influence long term climatic change, geohazards and potentially evolution of life itself.
You will investigate how Earth’s internal physical and chemical processes form a wide variety of structures, igneous and metamorphic rocks, and the surface processes that lead to the formation of sedimentary rocks. You will also study a variety of fossil groups and understand how they can be used to date rocks and interpret environments from millions of years ago.
To reflect some of the geology careers available, you will also study the formation, exploration and development of Earth’s natural resources such as water, hydrocarbons and metal ores. There are also non-core topics such as advanced plate tectonics, Quaternary geology and geohazards.
The course reflects that geology is a practical science. There will be different styles of lessons, from the theoretical to the practical, conducted inside and outside of the classroom. Practical skills will be developed alongside the more formal parts of the course allowing your observational, analytical, numerical and evaluative skills enabling you investigate and interpret features in rock specimens, cliff faces and geological maps. Students are expected to undertake four days of compulsory fieldwork to allow them to complete the practical endorsement.
There are three papers, all questions are data response either short structured or extended. Two of the papers will examine geological skills involving geological map work as well as specimen identification and drawing cross sections.
Overall, by studying this course you will start to appreciate how our planet has been shaped through the interaction between short-term catastrophic events and natural long term cycles. By studying geology you will develop a greater awareness of the wider environment, to appreciate the need for sustainable development and having studied an applied science, a pragmatic and practical approach to solving problems.
Grades 5/5 in GCSE Science OR Grade 5 in either GCSE Chemistry or GCSE Physics.