The Earth Sciences department includes A Level Geography, Geology and Environmental Science. Whilst Geography is the subject taken by the largest cohort of students, both the Environmental Science and Geology courses are extremely popular. All three subjects can be taken together or independently.

The department places great emphasis on fieldwork and during the two year A Level, many opportunities will be provided for local and overseas trips to support the classroom learning.

Courses Offered by the Department


Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world’s current problems boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them.

Michael Palin, President of the Royal Geographical Society

The Geography course has strong links to the humanities and sciences and therefore requires good written and analytical abilities. This course will appeal to you, if you have an interest in and concern for the environment. It gives you the opportunity to carry out practical work outdoors and find out about new people, places, landscapes and events. The A Level course offers a mixture of both physical and human topics, exploring coastal landscape systems, tectonic hazards, the earth’s life support systems, in addition to the challenges of migration, global governance and urban regeneration.


Geology is the study of the Earth: Its structure? How it has evolved? What drives important processes such as plate tectonics and the climate system? Geology also investigates how these factors affect society. How can structures be engineered to withstand geodynamic hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis? Can we use monitoring to predict when volcanoes erupt? Where do vital resources such as water, oil, metals and minerals come from?

A Level Geology is a well-established science subject, and opens doors to many career opportunities, both at home and abroad. The transferrable skills gained are much valued by universities, with successful A Level Geology students welcomed onto degrees in both the sciences and humanities. Fieldwork is an essential part of any geologist’s experience and trips will be offered to Mersea Island and the Isle of Arran.

The A Level course includes topics on the formation of the Solar System, mineral formation and identification, the structure of the earth and earthquake activity.

Environmental Science

The Environmental Science course will provide you with an insight and understanding into how geographical and biological components interact with the environment. This scientific subject will lead you to both answers and more questions, and sits particularly well alongside A Level Biology, Chemistry, Geography and Geology. Are you interested in finding out more about the impact of human activity on our planet? Perhaps you are interested in discovering ways in which environmental damage can be halted or even reversed.

The A Level course explores the conditions required for life on earth to exist, considers the best approaches to conservation, examines the interaction of biogeochemical cycles with the natural environment and studies the energy sources of the future.

We have a dedicated laboratory for lessons and specialist teachers who excel at assisting your exam preparation.

Additional Studies

Environment Committee

The Environmental committee works closely with the Earth Sciences department on a range of contemporary and sustainability issues. The committee meet weekly and hold regular college events to raise awareness on recycling, air quality issues and reducing carbon footprints.

Please see our Courses page for full details of all the courses offered by the college.