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Geology (A-level)

This course provides knowledge of the main aspects of geology as a science. It is great in combination with geography A Level if you see your future in Earth Sciences/ Climate change.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: A Levels
School Leaver - Academic
Location: Joseph Wright Centre
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?: Y
Joseph Wright Centre

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Course Information for Students

This course provides knowledge of the main aspects of geology as a science through three overarching concepts which link all topics studied:

* a scientific understanding of the Earth, its evolution and its sustainable development

* the central paradigms in geology: uniformitarianism (“the present is the key to the past”); the extent of geological time; and plate tectonics

* the cycling of matter and the flows of energy into, between and within the solid Earth, the Earth’s surface, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere and the biosphere.

You will need at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English Language at grade 5 and Maths at grade 4.

In addition, you should have GCSE Combined Science at grade 4,4 or above. If you have taken Triple Science, a grade at 4,4,4 or above is required.

A recent school report will be required which demonstrates a committed attitude to learning.

It is assumed that students enrol on a two-year A-level programme of study consisting of three or more subjects. However, students will be expected to demonstrate a committed attitude to learning and make positive progress in their first year of study.

Fundamentals of Geology

  • F1 Elements, minerals and rocks
  • F2 Surface and internal processes
  • F3 Time and change
  • F4 Earth structure and global tectonics

Interpreting the Geological Record

  • G1 Rock forming processes
  • G2 Rock deformation
  • G3 Past life and past climates
  • G4 Earth materials and natural resources

Geological Themes, a choice from:

  • T4 Geological evolution of Britain

This course will be delivered on-site at the Joseph Wright Centre.

There will be fieldwork in Wales or the Scottish Isles in Year 1. In Year 2, there will be fieldwork in Tenerife. The charge will be £300 in Year 1 and £450 in year 2. Any student claiming bursary will get this 100% funded as it is a compulsory part of the course.

There are three exams in the second year.

Further Study

You could consider degrees such as a:

  • BSc (Hons) Geology
  • BSc (Hons) Geology and Planetary Science


  • Engineering geologist
  • Geotechnics
  • Geochemist
  • Geophysicist/field seismologist
  • Geoscientist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Mudlogger
  • Wellsite geologist

For more information contact Derby College on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...

Biochemists and Biomedical Scientists


Biochemists and Biomedical Scientists

Laboratory Technicians


Laboratory Technicians

Civil Engineers


Civil Engineers

More Careers Information at:
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DCG Success Stories

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Hazel Cummings

Hazel Cummings, who is 18 and from Hilton, found that Joseph Wright College really suited her learning style.

I like spending time learning outdoors too, so for me one of the best parts of taking A-levels at Joseph Wright was the field trips to Anglesey.

Read More about Hazel Cummings

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Course Information Last Updated On: February 15, 2024 3:31 pm