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Geology AS/A Level at Brockenhurst College

Course description

Geology is the study of the structure and evolution of Earth over long periods of time. It helps us understand how the planet works, and develops an awareness of its possible futures. In the classroom, laboratory and in the field you will establish a thorough scientific understanding of the physical processes acting on the Earth, the chemistry of its constituent materials and biology revealed by fossil specimens. Developing your knowledge of processes and materials controlling the development of our planet, you will be primed for further study at University or work in a diverse range of geological industries.

Geology provides a good choice for those interested in the Natural Environment, Physical Geography and the Sciences. It will help to develop students understanding of the Earth in a practical way and demonstrate how Geology contributes significantly to the wider economy. Geology is taught in the classroom environment, in the laboratory, and in the field on site visits.

Course content

Students will study the interaction between Geology and the human environment. This includes issues such as water supply, mining, building of dams and reservoirs and exploration for hydrocarbons. All of which are relevant themes in today’s environment of increasing pressure on scarce resources. This combines with a detailed look at the earth’s Structure, the rock cycle and the use of fossils and their evolution to better understand Geological time periods. These themes will also be combined with fieldwork opportunities.

Entry requirements

Students must have a general interest in Geology and the history of Earth and how it has evolved.

Geology is a Science and requires at least a B grade at GCSE. Commitment, dedication and enthusiasm are required for success.


The A Level course consists of 3 Units at AS and 3 Units at A2 that are examined in May/June at the end each academic year. Practical skills units are examined by evaluative tasks, fieldwork and laboratory experiments at different times throughout the year.

AS Modules

Unit 1 - Global tectonics 30%
Unit 2 - Rocks 50%
Unit 3 - Practical Skills 20%

A2 Modules

Unit 4 - Environmental Geology 30%
Unit 5 - Evolution of Life, Earth and Climate 50%
Unit 6 - Practical Skills 20%

Financial information

It is recommended that you purchase a textbook that is appropriate for AS and A2 at a cost of about £26.

There will be a number of compulsory fieldtrips during the course, including fieldwork at Barton-on-Sea, Kimmeridge Bay and Osmington Mills in Dorset. Other residential fieldtrips are optional, such as Iceland, North Wales, France and Italy.

Future opportunities

Geology is a scientific and skills based subject, which is current and relevant in today’s society where natural resources and energy use are a global issue. Studying Geology at A level enables students to acquire transferable skills and specialist knowledge to address these problems. Careers in Geology are exciting and can be lucrative. Geological specialist research will provide the answers to many environmental and economic concerns in our future.

Its’ focus on the natural environment and investigation in the field make it a very attractive option for study at A level as it offers a variety of ways to learn.  Geology can lead to specialised areas of work, as well as becoming a Geologist there are various branches within the subject, such as Geophysics, Mineralogy, Hydrology, Palaeontology and Environmental Geology. Other degrees such as Civil Engineering, Oceanography, Marine Biology and Archaeology also have a geological component.

The majority of students who complete an A Level in geology at Brockenhurst, will go on to a Higher Education to take a degree in a geological related subject and then onto the 'world of work' in the many geological areas of employment.  Geology also provides an excellent source of skills that will support other lines of study.

Further information

Please note that the availability of A2 in this subject will depend on numbers opting for the AS course in the first year.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Brockenhurst College directly.

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

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