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Geology A-Level at New College Pontefract

Course description

Geology, the science of the earth, is an interesting and challenging subject that helps understand the physical world in which we live.  The subject covers a range of geological processes that operate at, or below, the earth’s surface. The Year 12 course covers three main areas of Geology and is ideal for a one-year course.  It is suitable if you are looking for a broad base in science at A Level and supports subjects such as geography – the ideas extend beyond GCSE Science and are complementary to A Level Geography.



Course content

Year 12 Units

GL1: Foundation Geology

- Matter

- Energy

- Time and change

This represents 35% of the total Year 12 Level.

GL2a: Investigative Geology

- Rocks

- Minerals

- Fossils

- Geological structures

- Geological map work

This represents 30% of the total Year 12 Level marks.

GL3: Human environment

- Earthquake hazards

- Volcanic hazards

- Tsunami hazards

- Mass movement hazards

- Waste disposal hazards

- Groundwater hazards

- Mining hazards

- Engineering geology

This represents 35% of the total Year 12 Level marks.


Year 13 Units

GL4: Interpreting the geological record

- Rock forming processes

- Rock deformation

- Past life and past climates

- Geological map interpretation

This represents 35% of the total Year 13 Level.

GL5: Geological Themes

- Geology of the lithosphere

- Geological evolution of Britain

This represents 35% of the total Year 13 Level.

GL6: Geological Investigation

Two pieces of coursework need to be submitted.

This represents 30% of the total Year 13 Level.

Entry requirements

Level 4 English Language, Level 6 Maths and Level 6 in Science


The written examinations involve:

Unit 1: One hour written exam which includes 4 data questions, one of which has an extended answer section

Unit 2: One hour and 45 minutes hour written exam which includes five data questions and two extended answer questions.


Financial information

Financial support can be provided to students of families who are on low income to help with extra costs of staying on in education. If you need any further information please visit our website or contact student services.

Future opportunities

These are diverse and provide opportunities for work indoors or out in the field. They include Engineering, Environmental work, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Government Agencies, Mining, Quarrying, Natural Hazard Agencies, Oil Industry, Scientific Research, Water Industry (hydrogeology) and Waste Disposal.

Further information

What skills do I need?

  • A science background would be beneficial
  • Good data and problem solving skills


How will I be taught?
Teaching methods are designed mainly to help you to understand geological processes as opposed to merely digesting facts.

A variety of methods are employed - discussions, videos, practical work, individual research, ICT, problem-solving exercises, and fieldwork.

Private Study
As an approximate guideline Year 1 subjects require three to four hours of independent study each; Year 2 subjects four to five hours each and GCSE subjects two hours each.

What materials will I need to purchase?

Examining Board

Geology is for you if: You like to understand the way the earth moves under your feet and you can remember lots of information.

Geology is not for you if: You dislike science, are not very good at practical work and cannot remember simple definitions.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 02 October 2018
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