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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle


GEOLOGY (A level)




Geology is the study of the Earth, using scientific principles and methods derived from each of the ‘core’ sciences and geography.  The course provides a knowledge and understanding of the processes that formed and shaped our planet; how the climate and life evolved and diversified; how continents move creating earthquakes and volcanic activity, and how geology influences our everyday lives.


The content comprises of:

  • Elements, minerals and rocks; including the study of meteorites, the chemical and structural makeup of minerals and the diagnostic properties of rocks, including what they tell us about the Earth and its history.
  • Earth structure; including the layered nature of our planet and the processes acting within it.
  • Global tectonics; how plate tectonic theory was developed and the nature of plate boundaries, including the analysis of earthquakes.
  • Surface processes and sedimentary rocks; including the studies of past environments and processes of diagenesis in the subsurface.
  • Internal processes, igneous and metamorphic rocks; unravelling the processes of magma formation and volcanic activity together with rock metamorphism.
  • Earth evolution; through studies of fossils (including dinosaurs)and radiometric dating, related to climate change, sea level changes and mass extinctions.
  • Earth materials and resources; as an overview of the source and location of economic geological resources including water, oil and gas and metallic minerals, together with engineering geology.
  • Geohazards; investigating potential hazards from the natural world, including earthquakes and geotechnics.


Assessment will be at the end of the course by examination. There is no coursework, however, fieldwork is a required component of the course and must be undertaken to complete the qualification.


There is no need to have any specific geological knowledge prior to undertaking the subject; the necessary prerequisite learning is included in GCSE Science courses. Geography is useful but not essential. It is, however, important that you have a genuine interest in the subject.


Geology is an ideal subject to accompany any or all of the sciences and geography at A level. As an ‘applied science’ it also stands well on its own to complement a broad A level portfolio. Because no prior knowledge is required, the course is refreshing in its content as new material and information will be learned that have not been covered before in other subjects. The course is ideal for those intending to make more direct use of geology, for example those intending to study further within the sciences (aspects of all physics, chemistry and biology are included), Earth Science, Environmental Science, Engineering, Archaeology and Geography.


Although there are no specific stated GCSE requirements in preparation for the course, students are required to have achieved at least a grade 6 in Additional Science, or a 6 in GCSE Chemistry/Physics.

For more details, please contact Dr Aggett.