Our Course

OCR: A Level Geology

Geology is the study of the Earth’s structure and development.

It is a popular A level subject at Royal Russell. The vast majority of those who choose the subject to study at A level are not intending to become Geologists. They aim to get a good grade in an interesting subject. However grades in this subject are always amongst the best in the School and, having studied the subject, many do continue to study it at university.  

Although it is a science it is not mathematical, and it therefore can go with almost any combination of other subjects, there are good links with Geography and the other sciences.  

The Geology room is equipped with hundreds of specimens – many of them found by our own students.  Our aim is to make this fascinating subject “come alive”.  Was that a small raptor I just saw in the store room?!

In Year 12 the main topics are Plate Tectonics and Rocks.  We look at how the planet formed, what we think is inside and how the crust keeps moving and changing.  Then we look in detail at the processes which form all the rocks that we live on.

In Year 13 we start by investigating how to make money out of rocks – economic geology.  Finally we look at the evolution of life – including finding out more about dinosaurs!

Course Content

There are no essays to write in Geology.  The examinations are largely structured questions aimed at finding out your level of understanding.  There are some coursework aspects which are covered in the laboratory or on our annual field trip.  In addition we encourage visits to the Geological Society in London and the Natural History Museum (have you seen the new Stegosaur?).

We follow the OCR syllabus for which a specialised textbook has been written.

Unit Assessment Duration
Practical work - The General Principles, Global Tectonics,
Dating the Past
Multiple choice and data response 2½ hours
Fundamentals Multiple choice and data response 2¼ hours
Geological Science Solving problems using data in graphs, maps,
cross-sections and statistics
2¼ hours
Practical Skills Solving problems using maps and photographs 1½ hours
Practical Endorsement Statement from the teacher that student
attended field course

Please click here to print course details. 

Looking Further Ahead

Geology is an especially useful subject for those wishing to follow a career in either Engineering or Planning.

As such, it has direct uses in a range of careers including Engineering, the Oil Industry and Commodity Trading.