A-level Geology

Cornwall College St Austell LEVEL: 3 A-levels

A-level Geology will introduce you to the science which studies the whole Earth. It covers a range of real life geological contexts (e.g. geohazards in Britain and the evolution of flight) and the challenges that face contemporary geoscience. Around half of all UK earth science undergraduates studied Geology A-level and it is also an accepted science qualification for progression to other science courses, archaeology and civil engineering. When you study geology with us your course will be delivered as a mixture of classroom-based and field-based activity to give you the best opportunity to experience all the subject has to offer you. So if you are interested in the relationship between birds and dinosaurs, or whether fracking causes earthquakes, then geology is the subject for you.


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Ideal if:

This science complements well with other sciences especially Physics and Chemistry as well as Mathematics. There is also an academic overlap with some elements of Geography and Environmental Science. Theories, processes and rock petrology is well exemplified in the classroom, laboratory and within four days of regional based field work.

You’ll need:

At least five GCSEs at grade C or grade 5, or above, including English and Mathematics and at least a grade B or grade 6 or 7, in Geography and / or the sciences.

You’ll learn:

Topics of study:
- Global tectonics: earth structures, earthquakes, continental drift, geological structures
- Rocks: processes and products, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic processes and products
- Practical skills in geology 1: fieldwork
- Environmental geology, water supply, energy resources, metallic, mineral deposits and engineering geology
- Evolution of life: Earth and climate, formation and morphing of fossils, evolution of organisms, dating methods and changing climate  - Practical skills in geology 2: fieldwork


Teaching in a well resourced, dedicated room as well as laboratory focused sessions, small group sizes, outstanding staff (including industry based experts and HE qualified lecturers), close tutorial support and fieldwork opportunities.

Fieldwork skills are fundamental to the study, practice and discipline of Geology. They are integrated into all aspects of the subject. Learning these skills will enable you to 'think geologically'. It will also provide you with opportunities to apply field skills in a wide range of curriculum and learning contexts. You will be able to visualize and extrapolate data in three dimensions, and to understand the application of practical methodologies.

You’ll love:

The fieldwork opportunities in Cornwall and the South-West region accompanied by subject experts from beyond the College. You will be exposed to current areas of research where new discoveries may revise our understanding of geological phenomena.

You’ll go on to:

Prepares you for progression to higher education, higher level apprenticeship or employment, with careers in civil engineering, engineering geology, hydro-geology, mining geology and petroleum geology.



A-levels 9
A-levels 8
A-levels 7
A-levels 6
A-levels 5


A-level Geology

Start Date

September 2019


St Austell


2 years


Chris Taylor Head of A-levels & Geology Lecturer

Chris's specialism is Geology, which he studied at university. A love of the subject stemmed from dinosaurs and trips to the Jurassic Coast fossil hunting as a child. Rumour has it he still loves dinosaurs! Chris joined Cornwall College in 2003, since then his Geology programme has gone from strength to strength, with his students scoring some of the best grades on results day. in 2014 he became Head of A-levels for The Cornwall College Group, a year that saw the A-level Centre in St Austell become the top provider in Cornwall.

"I take a lot from trying to make a difference to a student’s outlook and helping them realise that their stars are not fixed from birth."


*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility.