Accessibility links

A Level Geology at King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford

Course description

Students with AS/A level Geography have access to a wide range of possible career and higher education possibilities. The course develops a vast number of sought after transferable skills desirable to both higher education and employment. These include collecting, analysing and interpreting primary data, communicating your findings through reports, presentations and video, identifying and developing links between the human and the physical landscapes. Geography combines well with all other AS and A level subjects. Taken with sciences, it supports applications to traditional science-based courses like engineering, psychology, environmental sciences, oceanography and geology. Taken with humanities, Geography will support an equally wide range of university courses such as economics, business studies, law, media, politics and philosophy. Perhaps uniquely among the AS and A level subjects Geography includes and integrates the arts, sciences and social sciences, providing a correspondingly broad base of knowledge, understanding and skills. As such the study of Geography provides an open door to your career options. This course remains a modular AS/A level course until 2018 exams.

Course content

There is a global demand for geologists across a wide spectrum of career paths and that demand is growing due to Geology’s vital role in the world economy. Rewards are high for those studying Geology. Salaries are generally high for new graduates. Future economic growth will generate jobs in minerals, geophysics and oil, and environmental geology. Global Warming also provides opportunities for the geologist. Fieldwork and lab work are a compulsory part of this course with probable field visits to The Peak District, 2016 and South Wales, 2017. We hope to once again offer an optional fieldtrip to Iceland in 2017.

Entry requirements

Geology is a valuable science and is a subject that you can start without previous knowledge although it is useful to have a sound science background and a desire to tackle new and diverse concepts. It is not the same as Geography but does build on similar ideas, particularly in relation to hazards such as earthquakes and volcanoes. Geology contains links to Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Enthusiasm for field and lab work essential !


AS Unit 1 - Foundation Geology – Matter, Energy, Time and Change
Written examination with structured data response questions - 17.5%

AS Unit 2 - Investigative Geology – Field, Lab and Simple Geological Map Skills Practical assessment: Written paper with problem solving, maps, photographs & geological specimens - 15%

AS Unit 3 - Geology & the Human Environment – Natural Hazards, Human Hazards & Engineering Geology - Assessed by 1.25 hour data response paper and one structured essay from a choice of three - 17.5%

A2 Unit 4 - Interpreting the Geological Record – Rock forming processes, Rock Deformation, Use of Fossils and Geological Map interpretation - Structured data response questions and geological map interpretation - 17.5%

A2 Unit 5 - Geological Themes – 2 from Quaternary Geology, Natural Resources, Evolution of Britain and Geology of the Lithosphere - Compulsory data response paper and one essay per theme - 17.5%

A2 Unit 6 - Geological Investigations – Planning, Implementing, Analysing evidence and drawing conclusions and Evaluating (Internal Assessment min 50% field and min 25% lab) Geological investigations & reports with a minimum of 50% fieldwork reports, up to 50% lab work - 15%

Future opportunities

Geology will not become a linear A level subject until at least the 2019 exams. Higher education establishments value Geology as a Science, opening up a wide variety of careers. Vulcanologist, Geophysicist, Geochemist, Mining Engineering, Hydrogeologist, Palaeontologist, Volcano Prediction, Environmental Geologist, Astronaut, Investment Banker have been some of the opportunities for a qualified Geologist! Many of the job opportunities involve global travel as well as high salaries.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford directly.

Last updated date: 01 May 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years