GCSE Geology2018-04-06T11:38:41+00:00

GCSE Geology

WJEC specification Geology

The Course

The topics covered include:

  •  Minerals – their physical and chemical properties, how they are identified and their uses to mankind.
  • Rocks – a study of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and their uses.
  • Fossils – the ancient life forms that are found in the rocks and what they tell us about previous climates, environments and evolution.
  • Composition of the Earth – how evidence of its layered structure can be obtained by studying earthquakes and meteorites.
  • Plate Tectonics – a study of the features associated with plate margins e.g. mountain chains, volcanoes, earthquakes – how and why these features were formed and how they shape the Earth.
  • Hazards – the prediction, control and reduction of the impact of geological hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, waste disposal and radon gas.
  • Geological Time – how geological time is measured and how geological events are placed in their correct sequence.
  • Structural Geology – the structures which are formed within rocks, e.g. folds, faults.
  • Mapwork – the interpretation of geological maps and the drawing of cross-sections.
  • Resources – how oil, gas and precious metals are formed and how they are extracted.

Britain in the Past – how Britain has moved north during the last 600 million years.

Why study Geology?

Are you interested in how the planet is changing, not just in recent past, but over the whole lifetime of the Earth? Are you intrigued by how plate tectonics shape the physical landscape? Do you question how we can manage our natural resources sustainably?

If so, Geology could be the subject for you. Geologists investigate the past and future of the Earth, seeking evidence to support their claims. Geology attracts students who wish to study the dynamics of the Earth and its resources, exploring how they can be used in the most sustainable way possible. Students will also have opportunities to work outdoors and complete their own scientific study of rock strata in the local area.

Geology will be a new subject but you will have come across some Geology in your Science and Geography courses.


The course is assessed by examination. All students must also undertake two days of fieldwork as part of the GCSE attending trips to field work sites in North East Essex to survey rock strata. There will be two examinations as detailed below:

Component 1: Geological Principles – on screen examination, 1 hour 15 minutes, worth 50% of the qualification (80 marks)

Component 2: Investigative Geology – written examination, 1 hour 30 minutes, worth 50% of the qualification (80 marks)