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Geology WJEC A Level at Littleover Community School

Course description

Geology is the study of the physical structure, history and make-up of the Earth.

  • What can be more relevant than the very Earth that we live on?
  • When a volcanic eruption or a Tsunami-generating earthquake hits the news headlines, wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to interpret such events on a global scale?
  • Having the understanding that these phenomena not only destroy life, but also have been essential in creating life on our planet is a fascinating overview to have.
  • How intriguing is it to analyse rocks and the fossils that they contain and be able to reconstruct a 300 million year old environment and work out its past climate?

Qualifies Required:

  • A high level of interest, commitment, and organisation.
  • Good communication, descriptive and precision skills.
  • Enthusiasm for practicals, the ability to think laterally and record observations accurately.
  • To work as an individual and apply concepts to problems. An appreciation of the natural environment
  • A willingness to participate in fieldwork.

Course content

Evidence of changes in the Earth's climate is recorded in rocks throughout geological history, allowing the geologist to trace these changes through time and go on to predict (with help from other scientific disciplines), potential climatic fluctuations in the future.

The study of Geology also allows us to be able to predict the location of mineral/hydrocarbon resources and potential building materials in the crust. The subject encompasses many of the other sciences including Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Geology is the branch of science concerned with the structure, evolution and dynamics of the Earth and with the exploitation of the mineral and energy resources that it contains.

Geology is ideally suited to fulfil the educational purpose of demonstrating the relevance of science to society.

Geology applies physical, chemical and biological principles to the investigation of the Earth, but also involves a distinctive scientific methodology invoking internal and external Earth processes to explain the evolution of the planet through geological time.

The application of Geology to human activities and needs is widely addressed in the specification, providing for relevance and the development of a broad range of Key Skills. 

Entry requirements

Littleover Community School Sixth Form specialises in AS and A2 Level Courses - we do not offer any alternative/vocational courses. Regardless of which 'wave' of the ongoing A Level reforms each subject is in, we will expect all students to sit AS examinations at the end of Year 12 and A2 examinations at the end of Year 13.

We therefore expect all students to enrol to study 4 AS Levels in Year 12. Most students will then drop one subject at the end of Year 12 having completed the AS Level qualification, continuing with the other 3 to A2 level.

The minimum entry criteria for Littleover Community School Sixth Form is 5 A*-C/9-5 grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who achieve a grade 4 in Maths or English Language will be considered on an individual basis. However, the vast majority of our students will achieve 8 or more A*-C/9-5 grades with A*-8/9-6 in the subjects they wish to study at A Level. If students plan to study subjects that they have not studied at GCSE level we will expect A*-B/9-6 in subjects that have a similar skills set. 

Specific Entry Criteria:

GCSE graded at - B in at least 2 Science subjects.


AS Level modules:

Module 1: Foundation Geology

  • The recording of changes and the dating geological events.
  • The global structure of the Earth and composition of its crust.
  • The Earth's energy sources and the resultant internal and external processes.

Module 2: Investigative Geology

  • Problem solving based on hand specimens, maps, photographs and other data.

Module 3: Geology and the Human Environment

  • Knowledge with understanding of natural geological hazards and those caused by human activity and the means of predicting, monitoring and controlling them.
  • An evaluation of the impact of geology in environmental planning and civil engineering projects.
  • Skills of analysing and evaluating geological data related to site development and hazard assessment.

Fieldwork comprises of 2 one-day visits and a 2 night/3 day residential field study. 

A Level modules:

Module 4: Interpreting the Geological Record

  • An extended concept of the rock cycle to deepen knowledge with understanding of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
  • Extended skills in identifying and interpreting rocks using their compositions, textures and other diagnostic features.

Module 5: Geological Themes

  • The integration of the content of units GL1, GL3, and GL4 to study major geological themes.

Module 6: Geological Investigations

  • Fieldwork study -1 week duration on the Isle of Arran. 

Future opportunities

  • Environmental Impact Assessment - understanding the type and level of contamination in water land and air and how the problems of contamination can be solved.
  • Geophysics - the interpretation of sub-surface structures and their economic importance.
  • Engineering Geology - the construction of sub-surface tunnels, pipelines, roads and buildings based on their geological setting.
  • Mining Geology - exploration of the sub-surface for ore minerals (iron, lead, copper etc), gold, diamonds and other precious natural resources.
  • Oil & Gas Exploration/Production - using geological techniques to find and extract oil, coal and gas from the subsurface.
  • Geochemical Exploration - the chemical analysis of soils and waters for trace elements leading to exploitation of natural resources.
  • Research.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 15 November 2016

Key information


  • More information
    • Welcome to Littleover Community School Sixth Form and thank you for visiting our website. The Sixth Form was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in both of their most recent inspections when it was part of the highly successful Millennium Centre Post 16 Partnership along with Derby Moor Community Sports College.

      In September 2013 this partnership came to an end to enable Littleover Community School to deliver its own sixth form courses independently. This coincided with the opening of a brand new, purpose built sixth form centre. We have a reputation for academic excellence with students performing considerably higher than national averages year after year.

      Approximately 95% of our students go on to study at university having completed a range of AS and A level subjects. While we are proud of our high academic standards, we also recognise the importance of providing students with an enjoyable and enriching experience throughout their time in the Sixth Form.  We offer a wide range of enrichment sessions in addition to a detailed tutorial programme designed to broaden the experiences of students, develop students as well rounded individuals and prepare them thoroughly for life at university and beyond.

      For more information about the Sixth Form and what we offer please look at our current prospectus.