Geology

Examination Board: OCR

 

Why should students choose Geology ?  What career opportunities are open for students to follow ?

 

Also called Earth Science, Geology develops many skills that are in great demand nowadays.  It is an observational, interpretive science that makes use of almost all other areas of study and usefully applies them.  Studying the subject results in a breadth of knowledge that few other subjects can match – a fact that does not go unnoticed by admissions tutors.  Because of its broad base, people qualified in the subject can and do turn their hand, not only to the growing need for natural resource exploration and discovery, but also  to a variety of careers ranging from accountancy to teaching and dealing with environmental issues.

 

This A Level has been developed after wide consultation from a variety of organisations which includes the British Geological Society as well as many universities and the oil and gas industry.  It has been designed to build on knowledge and understanding of GCSE Science and no prior knowledge of Geology is required.

 

Describe a typical A Level course in your subject

 

Listed below are the four units of work (two at AS and two at A2) that are externally assessed through written examinations and the two further units (one at AS and one at A2) that are designed to assess your practical skills and are internally graded by your teachers.

 

AS Global Tectonics – this unit is concerned with the Earth’s structure which leads to an understanding of why earthquakes occur on our planet.  It covers the developments that have taken place in our knowledge of continental drift, sea floor spreading and ultimately leads to plate tectonics and geological structures such as folds and faults.

 

AS Rocks – Processes and Products – the fundamentals of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are dealt with in this unit; how they are formed and how they are classified, leading to an appreciation of the rock cycle.

 

AS Practical Skills in Geology – the third mandatory unit for AS level Geology.  This comprises school and/or field based work and an evaluative task.

 

A2 Environmental Geology – this is a more applied unit covering water and energy resources and how they are identified and exploited.  Metallic mineral deposits and engineering geology are also investigated.

 

A2 Evolution of Life, Earth and Climate – you will study the natural history of life on Earth looking in detail at fossil formation, the morphology of fossils and the adaptation of organisms to live in different environments.  The fossil record is considered in detail particularly with regard to evidence for evolution and mass extinctions.  Methods of dating and correlating rocks are studied along with the interpretation of geological maps.  Finally, the issue of climate change is looked at particularly from a geological history perspective.

 

A2 Practical Skills in Geology 2 – this second school based and/or field work task along with an evaluative task is the final unit required for a full A Level in Geology.

 

What are the GCSE requirements needed to study your subject ?

 

This is a Science A Level and is accepted as such at universities; therefore you will require at least a grade B in GCSE Science.  A minimum of a grade C in English and Mathematics is also desirable.  Potential student applications will be considered if these grades are not met following individual interviews.

 

Entry Requirements:

This is a Science A Level and is accepted as such at Universities; therefore you will require at least a grade B in GCSE Science.

A minimum of a grade C in English and Mathematics is also required.  Potential student applications will be considered if these grades are not met following individual interviews.

 

Contact: Ms K Savage