By studying A-Level Geology, you will develop knowledge and skills around the structure, evolution and dynamics of the earth. You will also become aware of how mineral and energy resources can be exploited sustainably.
A-Level Geology uses principles of physics, chemistry and biology as well as unique scientific methods to demonstrate how the earth evolves through geological time. You may require Grade C in GCSE Maths and/or GCSE Sciences to undertake this course.
A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of three AS-Level units and three A2 level units. You will study six units and the assessment for A-Level Geology is by fieldwork and exams.
Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.
- OCR AS-Level Geology
The first unit, Global Tectonics will focus on the earth structure, earthquakes, continental drift, plate tectonics and geological structures. In the second unit, Rocks – Processes and Product, you will learn about the rock cycle as well as igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic processes and products. In Practical Skills in Geology I, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice in a fieldwork project.
- WJEC AS-Level Geology
In the first unit, Foundation Geology, you will focus on the three main topics of matter, energy and time and change. This will develop your understanding of basic geological principles. In Investigative Geology, you will use your knowledge to demonstrate geological techniques and skills. In Geology and the Human Environment, you will learn about natural and human geological hazards. You will also discover how these are predicted, monitored and controlled. You will also explore the role of geology in civil engineering and environmental planning.
The A2 Geology is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Geology. This is not a separate award. The A2-Level Geology with the AS-Level Geology makes up the A-Level Geology. The A2-Level Geology will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Geology.
- OCR A2 Geology
In the first unit, Environmental Geology, you will learn about water supply, energy resources, mineral deposits and engineering geology. In Evolution of Life, Earth and Climate, you will explore fossils in detail, as well as geological mapping and changing climates. In the Practical Skills in Geology 2, you will undertake a fieldwork task.
- WJEC A2 Geology
In Interpreting the Geological Record unit, you will learn about rock forming processes, rock deformation, fossils and geological map interpretation. In the Geological Themes unit, you are able to choose two of the following subjects to study:
- Quaternary Geology
- Geology of Natural Resources
- Geological Evolution of Britain
- Geology of the Lithosphere
In the third unit, Geological Investigations, you are able to demonstrate your knowledge and skills through fieldwork.
A-Level Geology Exam Board Information
- The OCR A-Level Geology specification is available from the OCR website.
- The specification for the WJEC AS and A-Level Geology is available here.
Most people study A-Level Geology so that they can study Geology, Geography, Civil Engineering, or other land-based subjects at university. Career opportunities may include working in a museum, surveying, geological mapping, geological chemistry as well as a variety of environmental-based occupations such as environmental consultancy.
Other Useful Information
- Past papers are available from the OCR website.
- WJEC have a variety of specimen assessment materials available on their website.
- There is a variety of A-Level Geology resources available here.