Accessibility links

Geology AS/A Level at Croesyceiliog School

Course description

Geology is the branch of science concerned with the structure, evolution and dynamics of the Earth; with the exploitation of the mineral and energy resources that it contains. Geology applies physical, chemical and biological principles to the investigation of the Earth, but also involves a distinctive scientific methodology using internal and external processes to explain the evolution of the planet through geological time.

The Advanced Subsidiary and Advanced Level specifications are designed to provide a course ideally suited to broaden sixth form study by complementing a science course or providing a contrasting course within humanities. The specification units extend a science course by study of the application of scientific principles to the investigation of the Earth and by the use of scientific techniques and skills to develop enquiries.

Course content

The ‘AS’ level specification has been designed so that no prior learning in geology is required. It builds on knowledge, understanding and skills acquired in a range of GCSE subjects.

The AS Geology course comprises:
Unit GL1 - Foundation Geology - The global structure and composition of the Earth. The Earth’s energy sources and the resultant internal and external geological processes. The rock and fossil record of the Earth used for understanding the Earth’s history and dating events.

Unit GL2 - Practical Geology - The practical use of maps and specimens to aid the geological understanding of an area.

Unit GL3 - Geology and the Human Environment: - The acquisition of knowledge and understanding of volcanic and earth quake hazards affecting the human environment and their prediction, monitoring and control. The impact of engineering geology on environmental planning and civil engineering projects.

The A2 Geology course comprises:
Unit GL4 – Interpreting the Geological Record. - A deeper understanding of the rock forming processes and the subsequent structural alterations. The evolution of the fossil record with detailed understanding of the development and history of plants, trilobites and the dinosaurs. The integrated use of published British Geological Survey maps to aid understanding of the structure of an area and its potential use for building dams, tunnels, and bridges.

Unit GL5 – Case study investigation of:
1) The Geological Evolution of the British Isles—the geological and palaeo-geographical history of Britain, a detailed study of the rocks and their travels across the globe;
2) Quaternary Geology - the influence of the Ice Age on the British Isles, its affect on climate change and the modern sedimentary record.

Unit GL6 – Coursework: Internally assessed field and laboratory investigations accounting for 15% of the overall marks.

Students develop independent practical skills and a variety of case study examples through field excursions, virtual field experiences, and laboratory investigations.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum 5 A* to C grades.
  • A minimum of a grade C in Maths and English.

Students wishing to study Geology would be expected to achieve at least a Grade B in GCSE Science or GCSE Geology.


Assessment is through written examination and draws from skills developed during field and laboratory activities.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Croesyceiliog School directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2014

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years