Geology AS / A Level

(course code AS3GE)


Entry requirements 

5 GCSEs at grades A* - C or equivalent including Maths. GCSE grade C or above in a science subject is recommended.


What will you do on this course?

Geology is a fascinating subject which involves the scientific study of the Earth, its history, composition and processes. It is an applied science combining elements of physics, chemistry and biology with physical geography.

Geology can combine well with Geography, Archaeology or Environmental Studies. It is a practical subject with plenty of opportunity for fieldwork and lab investigations; using rock, fossil and mineral specimens, students piece together the story of the Earth. Good geologists are therefore rock detectives who like solving the Earth’s puzzles.

AS Geology provides an introduction to the main elements of the subject and equips students with basic practical skills. It also includes the detailed study of earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and volcanoes as well as other topics of applied environmental geology.

AS Modules (Year 1)

  • Module 1: Foundation Geology: rocks, fossils, structures, dating.
  • Module 2: Investigative Geology: practical assessment with geological specimens and problem solving maps and photographs.
  • Module 3: Geology and the Human Environment.

A2 Geology delves more deeply into geological processes (Module 4), and explores the history of Britain’s rocks and the impact of the Ice Age (Module 5).

Two coursework assignments complete the assessment (Module 6).

A2 Modules (Year 2)

  • Module 4: Extension Geology.
  • Module 5: Thematic Geology.
  • Module 6: Geological investigations in the lab and field.


Course assessment

  • Modules 1, 3, 4 and 5 is assessed by written exam.
  • Module 2 is practical assessment.
  • Module 6 is coursework.

WJEC Exam Board.


Expert teaching

Our Head of Geology and Geography, Jez Palfrey, is an expert in his field specialising in European volcanoes. He is passionate and knowledgeable and communicates this to his students. 

"Geology is an exciting subject. Our students are curious about the Earth and their energy is infectious, so the Geology class is always geared for success. We have exciting local and international visits and the subject is practical and leads to excellent prospects for high paid jobs with foreign travel. We specialise in the study or volcanoes at Strode and I have considerable experience of European volcanoes, so I can help students with this knowledge and understanding. As well as written exams our Geology A Level includes coursework and a practical exam which our students excel at." 

Practical work in the field and classroom

Students take part in fieldwork, with trips to classic West Country sites (costs approximately £25) and an optional visit to Iceland or Naples. The course includes extensive use of our excellent geology specimen collection. 

"To piece together the story of the earth our students need to get out into the field, as well as carry out investigations in the laboratory. Geology is a practical subject and field trips provide great opportunities for our students to witness what they have learnt in the classroom." Jez Palfrey, Head of Geology and Geography. 

Geology students unearthed some fantastic fossils on a trip to the Jurassic coast of Lyme Regis. They found large vertebrae from marine reptiles, Ichthyosaurs, dolphin like creatures which disappeared about 90 million years ago.
We visited the volcanoes, glaciers and coastal regions of Iceland, where students were able to make links between the environment and its impact on the world. 
Geology students got to grips with the weather and their course work on Haytor in Dartmoor.


Next step

Students can proceed to Geology, Earth or Environmental Science degrees. Geology graduates are currently highly sought after by employers and are amongst the highest paid with excellent opportunities for travel.


Student profiles

Cameron Davidson

Cameron Davidson

Studied: A Level Geology, Environmental Science and Mathematics

Where now? Studying Applied Geology at Plymouth University

Previous school: Huish Episcopi Academy

"The teaching at Strode has been exceptional and my passion for Geology has been well driven by a supportive and enthusiastic teacher. The atmosphere at Strode is safe and friendly making it easy to make friends."

Megan Hill

Studied: A Levels Geology A*, Maths A*, Art A* and Physics B, 2011

Where now? Cardiff University studying Architectural Studies

Previous school: Millfield

"I'm really pleased with my A Level results. The tutors at Strode gave me the freedom to find my own way of studying and they were there to give that extra bit of support. Geology was made really interesting by the tutor through a variety of practical and literal topics; he was extremely enthusiastic which made it more enjoyable to learn. We went on field trips including an optional trip to Iceland which was amazing!"


Nicholas Hill

Studied: A Levels Geology A*, Maths (Mechanics) A* and Physics A, 2011

Where now? Working as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor for Rhead Group and studying BSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management

Previous school: King Arthur's Community School

"I'm ecstatic with my A Level results. I've already started a quantity surveyor job and my employer is supporting me through a five year part-time degree. I've got a salary, a car, and I'm going to get a degree - I'm sorted! Strode has been brilliant. I couldn't have wished for a better college to spend two years at."


Rolf White

Studied: A Levels Geology A, Geography A and Physics A, 2006

Where now? After studying Mining Engineering at the University of Exeter, Rolf is now employed as a Mining Engineer with Anglo American at their Irish lead-zinc operation. 

Previous school: Ansford Academy

"When I started my degree I knew very little about mining, but I quickly learnt that I had chosen a degree with brilliant travel, employment and career prospects. This was evident from a multitude of visits and presentations from mining companies. By the end of my first year I had travelled to the USA as part of the International Mining Games Team and completed an underground mine induction course at the university's test mine. The second year saw another visit to the USA with the Mining Games Team before a three month work placement in Western Australia with the gold mining company." 


James Brooks

Studied: A Levels Geology A, Physics C and Environmental Science C, Strode 2007

Where now? After studying Geology and Geotechnics at Exeter University, James is now employed as a Geotechnical Tunnel Engineer in Hong Kong. 

Previous school: Stanchester Academy

"I'm in Hong Kong now and I've been assigned to the team of a new tunnel that's being constructed - it's 8.5km long and will form the second stage of the harbour treatment. I have lots of responsibility as it's our job to suggest and guide the support for the tunnels. The company is paying me a good wage and they pay for an apartment as well."


Dominic Chorney

Studied: A Levels Geology B, Geography B, and Archaeology B, 2011

Where now? Cardiff University studying Archaeology

Previous school: Crispin School

"My experience at Strode was really enjoyable. Geology was very interesting, especially the examination of rocks. Fossil hunting trips at Lyme Regis and cliff examination in the field was entertaining and finding rare fossils is extremely rewarding."

If you would like to talk to Jez Palfrey, our Head of Geology and Geography, please call us on 01458 844400.