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Earth Science (Geology) – A Level

Special Entry Requirements

In addition to the A Level entry requirements, you will need grade 5 in GCSE Maths and grade 5 in GCSE Science.

Course Introduction

Earth Science (Geology) is a diverse and fascinating subject. Most students have never studied it before as it often isn’t taught at GCSE level. It is classed as a science and involves the following:

  • Study how our Earth works, Earth System Science
  • Study and attempt to predict earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides
  • Work out how to find and evaluate water, mineral, and energy resources
  • Learn about the evolution of life on Earth (including the dinosaurs)
  • Date key events, examine mass extinctions and environmental change
  • Predict the impact of human activities, such as ‘Fracking’, exploring for oil and gas, mining and quarrying activities
  • Draw conclusions from incomplete data, show an awareness of the wider environment and develop a pragmatic and practical approach
  • Develop practical skills which will be assessed alongside your examinations

Course Modules

Module 1 – Fundamentals of geology

F1 Elements, minerals and rocks
F2 Surface and internal processes
F3 Time and change
F4 Earth Structure and global tectonics

Module 2 – Interpreting the geological record

G1 Rock forming processes
G2 Rock deformation
G3 Past life and past climates
G4 Earth materials and natural resources

Module 3 – Geological themes

T1 Geohazards
T2 Geological map applications
T3 Quaternary geology*
T4 Geological evolution of Britain*
T5 Geology of the lithosphere*

Learners will study one of the options T3, T4 and T5, indicated with an asterisk*.


This consists of three examination papers as well as a practical endorsement.

Paper 1: Geological investigations (2 hours and 15 minutes)
Consists of 2 data response questions and an investigation of the geology of an area shown on a simplified geological map

Paper 2: Geological principles and processes (1 hour and 45 minutes)
Consists of 6 data response questions

Paper 3: Geological applications (2 hours)
Consists of 2 data response questions, an investigation of the geology of an area from a Geological Survey map extract and 3 data response questions from chosen option

Practical endorsement – non examined assessment, this involves the assessment of a candidates practical competence, this will be reported separately and will not contribute to the final grade.

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Career Opportunities