“Geography is the subject that holds the key to our future.” Michael Palin
We are constantly exposed to geographical issues in everyday life, including environmental concerns, natural disasters, climate change, local developments, urban and rural change, population movements, maps and tourism.
Geography is a subject which deals with challenges the world faces and attempts to offer sustainable solutions for our future welfare.
Summary of course content
Geography matters. That’s why this qualification offers a wide range of contemporary themes and issues, so students can understand the world around us and what could impacts its future. The topics contained within bridge the sciences and the arts, highlighting the huge range of skills and qualities that geographers possess.
• Tectonic processes and hazards
• Coastal landscape and change
• Regenerating places/diverse places
Physical systems and sustainability
• The water cycle and water insecurity
• The carbon cycle and energy security
Human systems and geopolitics
• Health and human rights
Investigation into a contemporary geographical issue
• Independent investigation
Paper 1: Dynamic landscapes and physical systems and sustainability
Paper 2: Dynamic places and human systems and geopolitics
Paper 3: Synoptic investigation of a contemporary geographical issue
Coursework: 3,000-4,000 word geographical investigation
How the course differs from GCSE
Students will have two teachers, one delivering the physical geography content and the second delivering the human geography content. A range of learning strategies are used, such as discussions, outside speakers, making videos and presentations, as well as analysing recent news events and publications. There is an element of progression from GCSE but the work extends, develops and diversifies from what was studied previously. Throughout the course, students will increasingly develop their independence through structured research and investigative tasks.
There is a whole host of skills acquired throughout the course, alongside numeracy, literacy and ICT. Students will develop the ability to think analytically and extend their investigative and teamwork skills through both independent learning and fieldwork. In addition, students will develop their independence through structured research and investigative tasks.
Where the course leads
Geography at A Level provides a wide and varied base for entry into university and many practical professions. It can be successfully combined with both arts and science subjects as a foundation for higher or further education. Geographers offer potential employers a wide range of transferable skills. For further details of potential careers, please see the website of the Royal Geographical Society.
Special entry requirements
A minimum of GCSE grade 5 in English Language and grade 4 in mathematics are required. Most importantly, however, you must be able to display a real interest in the challenges the world faces and be willing to participate in discussions, presentations and fieldwork.