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Geology A Level

Geology is the “scientific study of the solid Earth, its rocks and processes”. It is a very varied subject which deals with the four billion years of our planet’s history. It involves the study of the most fascinating and remarkable landscapes on earth and you will learn to view these in a completely new and informed way.

What does the course involve?

There are seven modules studied over two years:

Development of Practical Skills in Geology

Develops your geological field skills, such as rock description and map making, as well as laboratory experimentation.

Foundations in Geology

Provides you with a basic geological toolkit grounded in hands on experience of rocks and fossils. You will learn to identify rocks, minerals and fossils, learn about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic processes and build an understanding of the geological time scale.

Global Tectonics

Develops your knowledge and understanding of the Earth and its place within the solar system. You will study Earth structure, formation and the theory of plate tectonics.

Interpreting the Past

Studies how sedimentary rock layers and fossils can be used to build up our understanding of Earth’s history.

Petrology and Economic Geology

Covers advanced sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic processes, hydrogeology and the formation and extraction of mineral resources, such as gold.


Covers a wide range of hazards including earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes. You will learn about risk analysis and how engineering geology can be used to reduce the threat of geohazards.

Basin Analysis

Takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of sedimentary basins. You will learn about the iconic rocks of the UK, such as those of the Jurassic coast. You will also study how oil and gas are formed as well as fossil groups such as the dinosaurs.

Please note: /404Certificate in Mathematical Studies must be studied alongside this course, unless you are also studying Mathematics or Statistics. 


Geology is a field science and you will learn to work in remote environments. You will visit fascinating, beautiful locations to further your knowledge.

  • In the first year there is a compulsory trip to Arran in Scotland (cost approximately £500).
  • In the second year there is a residential trip in the UK, several day visits and an optional overseas trip.

What can you do after the course?

Geology is detective work and you will develop many investigative, observational and interpretational skills highly valued be employers and universities.
Earth scientists are in enormous demand worldwide and command excellent salaries. Geology has provided an important first step towards a well paid, rewarding, globe-trotting career for many of our past students. It could do the same for you!

What I like best about this course is how diverse it is and how many careers you can go into afterwards.


Owen talks about the Geology course at Hereford Sixth Form College