Cocks was educated at Felsted School and Hertford College, Oxford.  After military service in Malaya he became a research student at Oxford, before joining the Natural History Museum in 1962. During this time, he married his wife Elaine, who shortly gave birth to three children, Mark, Zoe and Julia. From 1970 to 1983 he served as a geologist with the Royal Engineers. He has served as president of the Geological Society, Palaeontological Association, Palaeontographical Society and Geologists' Association.
- "Dr Robin Cocks, OBE, TD". Debrett's. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "COCKS, Dr Leonard Robert Morrison, (Dr Robin Cocks)". Who's Who 2011. A & C Black, 2011; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2010 ; online edn. Oct 2010. Retrieved 12 Oct 2011.
- "Lapworth Medal". The Palaeontological Association. Retrieved 12 Oct 2011.
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