Dr Clinton Thrower
Head of Science
Examination Board: OCR
Why study Geology?
Are you interested in how our planet has changed over the lifetime of the Earth? Are you interested in the origin and development of our landscape and how plate tectonics control the surface features of the Earth, earthquakes and volcanoes? Do you wonder how we can manage our natural resources more sustainably? Geologists are scientific detectives who try to reveal the past and anticipate the future of the Earth.
Geology attracts people who wish to study the dynamics of the Earth we live on, its resources, and the most economic and sustainable way to use them. Students who enjoy working outdoors, have a good scientific background, and are interested in understanding how the world around them works, will find the field of Earth Sciences rewarding. Geology is one of the most interdisciplinary and integrated of the Sciences, combining aspects of Chemistry, Physics, Biology and physical Geography relevant to the Earth. Studying Geology will increase your appreciation and understanding of these other Sciences. It provides a host of transferable skills: geologists are adaptable and creative, linking together complex ideas and evidence to draw conclusions and present their findings. As a practical subject it combines an enjoyable variety of teaching styles: lab based investigations, hand specimens, field visits, theory, applied case studies as well as research and presentation work.
Fieldwork plays an important part of the course, relating the theory studied in class to the Geology on the ground. Students are expected to take part in four days of fieldwork over the two years of the A-level course, as well as consolidating learning it also helps us to bond as a class. We are also lucky to have the opportunity, if space and timings are favourable, to join Bishop Wordsworth’s on their Easter residential field trip which has been to Iceland and Italy in the past few years. Geology is classed as a Science subject by most universities. It is evidence based in that theories
are presented and evolve as new evidence is discovered. It requires a unique set of skills: you will be expected to think synoptically and link
together many aspects of the course to formulate your answers. Geology is accessible to those who are interested in taking a Science subject to A-level but may not have the strong Maths grounding needed for the more traditional Sciences. The ability of those who study Geology to problem solve and think creatively means that they are to be found
studying a wide variety of degrees, not just those in Earth Sciences. There are a variety of Geologybased careers available for Geology graduates in the oil industry, civil engineering, natural resources and environmental work; however, because of the breadth and variety of skills involved in a Geology degree it is also widely valued as a preparation for
many other careers.