This course is offered at AS and A2. Students will find parts of the course similar to aspects of Physical Geography or the Earth Science component in Chemistry. The department is extremely well resourced in terms of equipment and Geological specimens such as fossils. The subject has an excellent track record of success at A-Level which has helped many students gain the University place of their choice as well as securing job opportunities.
There are many careers within Geology due to the growing shortage of raw resources and energy. Oil companies employ many Geologists in the search for more oil and gas. There are ample opportunities, here and abroad, to become involved in jobs such as mining. Geology is playing a key role in environmental issues including the management of flood plains, land reclamation and the siting of commercial, residential and industrial properties. Many students who take A-Level Geology enjoy the subject so much that they go on to study it and related courses at university. A quote from a headline in a daily newspaper reads: “Want that top-paying job? Take a degree in Geology”. Daily Mail 26.09.16.
A variety of fieldwork visits to sites of Geological interest as well as a residential experience on the Isle of Arran to study Geological features and complete controlled assessments will be available to all students.
5 GCSE grades at 9 – 5 including English.
Modules taught in the Lower Sixth include: looking at formation of the earth and the solar system and examining theories such as plate tectonics leading to the formation of volcanoes and earthquakes, continental drift and sea-floor spreading. Geological structures such as folds and faults are described and how different past environments help to form sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and the structures produced such as volcanoes. The study of fossils will also be undertaken.
Modules taught in the Upper Sixth include: looking at aspects of specific groups of fossils, their formation and the interpretation of fossils relating to environmental indicators presentation, and evolution. The causes of mass extinctions (including the dinosaurs) throughout Geological time are also studied.
Economic and Engineering Geology explains the formation and extraction of a variety of precious metals such as gold, as well as other aspects, such as the formation and techniques used to find reserves of oil, gas, water and energy supplies. Other aspects include looking at how some natural hazards such as earthquakes can be predicted. There are three examinations at the end of the A2 course.
The Examination Board for this course is OCR.
Geology is a practical subject and there will be several opportunities to undertake fieldwork. This will occur on day trips as well as a residential visit. All specialist equipment is provided by the department.