Geography is a wide-ranging subject which acknowledges the interaction between people and the natural world. It should not be thought of as either a science or an art because it contains elements of both in order to fully explain the world. Study of it will help any student to understand the changing world around them.
Unit 1: Physical Geography 1.5 hrs 37.5%
Three questions to be answered, one on each ofn the following topics:
The Challenge of Weather and Climate/Living World (ecosystems)/Ice on the Land
Unit 2: Human Geography 1.5 hrs 37.5%
Three questions to be answered, one on each of the following topics:
Changing Urban Environments / Globalisation / Tourism
Unit 3: Local Fieldwork Investigation 25%
This takes the form of a Controlled Assessment (i.e. a coursework piece taking place almost entirely in school time and under your teacher’s supervision) based on fieldwork. We will aim to give you as much choice of topics and studies as possible.
Both written papers have questions set in the same 25 mark structured question format.
Both written papers will be set at two tiers:
Foundation grades C-G and Higher grades A*- D.
Routes for progression
The skills you use in your geographical studies make you of interest to a wide range of employers. The close link between the subject and the world around us makes for a long and varied list of careers such that almost any career can follow from the study of Geography. Statistics show that, compared with other subjects, Geographers are amongst the most employable.
What skills do geographers have that employers want?
- Good communication skills
- Working in a team
- Numeracy and literacy
- The ability to ask questions and then find the answers
- Able to analyse their own work
- Spatial awareness
- Environmentally and Socially aware
What are the advantages of studying Geography?
Geographers are taught a wide ranging combination of skills drawing in ideas from many sources. This ability to view issues from a wider perspective is appropriate for working in many different areas. The nature of peoples’ working lives is changing. It is less likely that someone will spend all their life in one company or organization. If your career path is to be varied, you will need to develop transferable skills and you will need to be flexible. Geography fosters these qualities.
There are useful displays in the Geography corridor on careers with geography and choosing it for GCSE and anyone in the Geography department would be happy to expand on this further or answer any queries you may have, just ask.
Details about the course itself
The bulk of the course is provided by the physical and human topics, with each topic lasting approximately 7/8 weeks, and with relevant skills learnt, developed and practised throughout. In addition, time is made available for the skills needed for Controlled Assessment. A whole week in the summer term is devoted to fieldwork, with a series (some compulsory, others optional) or one day visits.
Skills covered will include:
- the ability to write clearly and concisely;
- collecting, recording, presenting and analysing data from a variety of sources;
- using maps of all types;
- using and understanding visual material (photographs, diagrams, videos etc.);
- the use of a critical approach to “see the wood for the trees”.
AS and A2 Level
Grade B in GCSE Geography or a related subject. It is not necessarily a requirement that students have studied Geography at GCSE in order to pursue it at AS/A2. Attitude and interest are more important. A Grade C in English and Mathematics are also useful if knowledge of the student suggests that they have failed to reach full potential at GCSE.
Why Geography at A-level?
Geography is unique in its position as a bridge between the Arts and the Sciences. It allows the “science” specialist to develop important literary skills and the “arts” specialist to develop important numeracy and graphical skills. It can be studied with virtually any other subject. It is especially attractive to those who want to maintain links with the “real world” outside the classroom.
The course focuses on the rapidly changing world around us and concentrates on the relationship between people and their environments. In studying it you will discuss, critically, many controversial issues such as growing cities, energy resources and world food supply.
Throughout the course you will develop a wide variety of useful skills such as:
- Problem solving, e.g. planning and management issues.
- Data collection, analysis and presentation.
- Use of instruments.
- Social skills - fieldwork in groups and using questionnaires.
Fieldwork will help increase your self-reliance and initiative as well as your ability to work on your own and as part of a team. These, and the skills mentioned above, are the ones that employers look for in an increasing competitive world.
To succeed at A-level geography, as with any other A-level, the foremost requirement is one of hard work and application. Any student also needs to want to know why the world is as it is, where it might go in the future and to read and observe widely anything that contributes to this. (The department will arrange reduced rate magazines subscriptions and advice regarding other sources of information).
And in return....
A-level geographers will learn more about the workings of the world to help them take their adult place within it, and gain skills that will help them gain employment within this world. A good geographer will always be able to adapt and “see the wood for the trees” no matter how fast the world changes.
Michael Palin: “Without Geography, you’re nowhere”.