Reasons to study this course

  • Allows you to understand the processes that have shaped the present pattern of continents and oceans.
  • Helps you understand natural geological hazards, as well as those caused by human activity.
  • Gives you a comprehensive understanding on how life has evolved throughout Earth’s history.
  • Opportunity to learn your subject not just from textbooks but also in the field.

What you will need to study this course

  • average GCSE grade of 4 or above, including at least grade 4 in Science and Maths
  • a good GCSE grade (4 or above) in English and ICT is also beneficial
  • ability to learn and recall factual information
  • we encourage students to combine Geology with Core Maths or Maths

What you will study

The Earth’s evolution and sustainable development, uniformitarianism, geological time, the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere and biosphere and more. At least two fieldwork days and a broad range of practical activities supported by a vast collection of real geological samples, some of which over 2 billion years old.

How you will be assessed

Three exams.

A practical endorsement certificate is awarded by the tutor following a set of 20 practical activities both in the lab and during fieldwork.

Priestley Extra

Residentials in Sicily or Iceland to see active volcanoes. Mandatory field trip to the Isle of Arran led by a team of field geologists who are experts in the local geology of one of the most important sites on the entire planet.


Academic careers in various aspects of Geology as well as other scientific degrees. Careers including Environmental Management, civil engineering, natural and artificial hazard management, as well as very sought-after positions in mining, oil, gas and quarrying industries. Apprenticeships and careers in organisations such as the Environment Agency or Centrica.

Recommended reading

Geology: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself (David A. Rothery)

  1. rex and the Crater of Doom (Walter Alvarez)

The Earth: A Very Short Introduction – Very Short Introductions (Martin Redfern)

Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself (David A. Rothery)

Supercontinent: Ten Billion Years in the Life of our Planet (Ted Nield)

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made (Gaia Vince)

Jurassic Mary: Mary Anning and the Primeval Monsters (Patricia Pierce)

Geological History of Britain and Ireland (Nigel H. Woodcock, Rob Strachan)

Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World (Marcia Bjornerud)

The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction – Very Short Introductions (Jamie Woodward)

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