The AS course has no coursework element and the geological skills are acquired through some outdoor fieldwork on the coast and in the nearby countryside. Students also do practical work in the classroom, examining mineral, rock and fossil specimens. Students develop the ability to solve geological problems by interpreting specimens, photographs, maps with graphical, numerical and written.
To take into account
Students are expected to have a GCSE grade C in Science and a grade C in either GCSE Maths or English. No prior study of Geology is necessary. Hardly any students have any prior experience in studying Geology. Students should also meet the general college entry requirements for advanced level study. Please refer to the current Prospectus - advanced programmes, entry requirements.
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GCE Advanced Level AS/A2
The AS year covers three modules
- Foundation Geology - the study of minerals, rocks, fossils and earth structure
- Practical Geology - understanding geological maps
- Geology and the Environment - looking at how man copes with natural and man-made hazards
The A2 modules cover
- Further Geology - in-depth study of aspects of basic geology such as the demise of the dinosaurs.
- Investigative coursework - marks awarded for design, implementation, analysis and evaluation of geological problems
- Natural Resources - earth materials such as oil and coal
- Glacial Studies and Quaternary Geology
The AS course has no coursework element and the geological skills are acquired through some outdoor fieldwork on the coast and in the nearby countryside. Students also do practical work in the classroom, examining mineral, rock and fossil specimens. Students develop the ability to solve geological problems by interpreting specimens, photographs, maps with graphical, numerical and written data.
In the second year of study a whole module is devoted to coursework investigations. Some of these are based on fieldwork for which students spend a week on a residential course (in Arran this year). Other investigations involve laboratory based experimental work.
Module :Title :Duration :Date
GL1 (AS) : Foundation Geology : 1 hour : 1st Year
GL2 (AS) : Practical Geology : 11/2 hours : 1st Year
GL3 (AS) : Geology and the Environment : 11/4 hours : 1st Year
GL4 (A2) : Further Geology : 2 hours : 2nd Year
GL5 (A2) : Options in Natural Resources and Glacial Studies : 2 hours : 2nd Year
GL6 (A2) : Investigative Coursework : Ongoing : 2nd Year March
All exams are taken in May and June each year. AS units GL 1-3 in May in the first year and A2 units GL 4-6 in June in the second year.
Useful/Common Subject Combinations
Geology is considered to be a science course and some of our students commonly study Geology with a combination from Physics, Maths, Chemistry or Biology.
Many students study Geography with Geology as there is a common link with interest in the environment.
Some A Level Art students also study Geology because they enjoy the use of natural materials.
Other students combine Geology with Humanities subjects such as History, or ICT based subjects such as Media or ICT.
Careers and HE Information
Geosciences is available as a degree level subject in about 50 universities where both BSc and four year MSc courses exist. New university courses are more applied and cover areas such as Environmental Geology, Petroleum Geology or Geophysics.
Every year, nearly half our A level Geology students move on to Geology or related degree courses. Some choose to support engineering courses with their knowledge of Geology. Physical Geography and Geology as a joint degree is becoming popular. Some students have found Geology useful in Archaeology degrees.
Other Relevant Information
Many students suited to this course tend to like outdoor pursuits such as fell walking or rock climbing. Students are expected to work outside whatever the weather when on fieldtrips and it is useful, but not essential, if students possess waterproofs and suitable footwear. This type of group activity often gives our students a strong sense of group identity.