Considering Geology GCSE or A Level? Read our FAQ hereWatch
The topics studied within the geological principles component include: minerals, the three major rock types (igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic), their deformation (folding and faulting), the rock cycle, plate tectonics, global climate and sea level change, fossils, concepts in geological time, planetary geology (i.e. the Moon, other planets, comets and asteroids), geohazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis, natural resources, and the various applications of geology to engineering.
Assessment for the course also places strong emphasis on practical skills in geology. This includes the use of mathematics relevant to geological study, the interpretation of geological maps and geological histories, and the identification and description of minerals, rocks and fossils in hand specimen. At least 2 days of fieldwork must also be undertaken, during which you will identify and describe geological structures, minerals, rocks and fossils in the field.
A Level Geology
You will also gain and develop practical skills which are important in the study of geology, including the identification of rocks, minerals and fossils in hand specimen, the construction and interpretation of geological maps and cross-sections, and the interpretation of aerial photographs, diagrams and charts showing geological information.
As part of your assessment, you’ll be required to undertake at least 4 days of fieldwork. This will assess your ability to identify minerals, rocks and geological structures in the field, measure elements such as dips and strikes, and create an accurate geological map in an unfamiliar area.
- Geology (also called Earth science or geoscience)
- Environmental science
- Geography (including physical and environmental geography)
- Civil engineering
- Hazards and disaster management
- Sustainability and environmental management
- Combinations of the above
Because A Level Geology is considered a science subject (depending on the university!), it can also help meet the entry requirements for other courses such as biology, marine biology, zoology, plant science and chemistry.