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Geology A Level at Helston Community College

Course description

The unique geological processes that occur on Earth make it possible for life to originate, evolve and survive and if you would like to know how our planet works and unravel its history, this is the course for you. Geology goes well with Chemistry, Physics, Geography and Biology and there are opportunities to learn new skills which will impress future employers and for you to participate in theory sessions, practical coursework and hands-on fi eldwork. You will need to be willing to join in with group work and to communicate with others, but have the self-discipline to complete guided research individually.

Course content

Units throughout the two years will build your geological skills to prepare you for the examinations and coursework. The course context will be covered to develop a comprehensive understanding of geological processes and to build a practical skill base. A variety of methods will be used including practical investigations, fi eldwork, ICT simulations, group presentations, problem solving, class discussion, practical questions, quizzes, individual research and lectures. You will be expected to attend a minimum of 3 days local fi eldwork at AS and there is the potential for fi eldwork abroad at A2. This is a broad-based science course with many transferable skills.

Entry requirements

College requirements, plus you will need to have gained a minimum of a grade B in Science, Maths and English.


Throughout the two-year course your work will be continuously assessed. Final grades are determined by:

AS year:

GL1 Foundation Geology

  • Structured data response examination 1hr 15min written paper 17.5%

GL2 Internal Assessment

  • Either a practical exercise or a fi eldwork investigation 15%.

GL3 Geology and the Human Environment

  • 1hr 15min written paper 17.5%

A2 year:

GL4 Interpreting the Geological Record

  • 2 hour written paper 17.5%

GL5 Geological Themes

  • 2 hour written paper 17.5%

GL6 Geological Investigations

  • 2 pieces of fi eldwork/coursework 15%

Future opportunities

This course builds upon GCSE modular science and GCSE Geology and is an excellent pathway to higher education in Scientifi c, Geological, Environmental or Engineering related disciplines. Suitable careers such as Environmental Scientist, Geologist, Mining Engineer, Surveyor, Oceanographer, Palaeontologist plus many jobs in the mineral and petroleum industries. We have good links with the University of Exeter (Tremough Campus) through regular trips and visits, and this gives students a useful insight into possible degree courses that are available. Students with Degrees in Geology are highly employable, and students often fi nd well paid employment, both home and abroad before they complete their degree.

Further information

Cornwall is blessed with world class Geology, particularly around the Lizard coastline. All Geology students will experience many fi eld trips around Cornwall which will strengthen their understanding of the theory taught in class. Field trip activities range from studying sedimentary deposits at Godrevy, exploring a 200ft deep tin mine shaft at Troon to visiting Cornwall’s only landfi ll! Each year we also aim to organise an overseas trip, and for the past two years, students have enjoyed the once in a lifetime trip to the ‘land of fi re and ice’, this being Iceland!

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 July 2016

Key information