The study of this subject is for those of you who are interested in geographical matters, from ecosystems, mountains and weather to cities, people and cultures. During your studies, you will use as many different resources as possible to discover more about the physical and human impact of various geographical events, including current issues such as global warming, climate change, international conflicts and sustainability.
All students studying A Levels must have at least five GCSEs at grade A* – C (grade 9 – 5) in academic subjects, including English Language at grade C (grade 5). Two of these must be B grades (grade 6). Specifically for Geography, you will need GCSE Maths at grade C (grade 5) or above.
It is not necessary to have Geography GCSE to study this subject at A Level.
WHAT DOES THE COURSE INVOLVE?
The AS course consists of two physical and two human modules: Coastal Systems and Landscapes, Hazards and Changing Places. In addition, there is a Geographical Fieldwork Investigation which is assessed in an exam skills-based paper. There are two one-and-a-half-hour exams at AS Level and no coursework.
The A Level course comprises study of two human and one physical module: Global Systems and Governance, Population and the Environment, and Carbon Cycles. There is also a 20% coursework module based on a fieldwork investigation, and two exams lasting two and a half hours.
During this course you will investigate and evaluate a wide range of topics using real life situations, from the effects of globalisation in the West Midlands and London to heavy flooding in Bangladesh, flood management in China, as well as volcanic eruptions in Chile and Italy.
These issues affect all of us throughout the world, drawing together a diverse range of countries, nationalities and cultures in the quest to solve some of the problems that face the planet today – population increase, greenhouse gas emissions, famine and poverty on the one hand, compared with over-production and opulence on the other.
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
Assessment is purely by examination in May and June of the AS year. In the second year assessment is by examination and 20% written coursework. This is a linear course so any exams sat at AS Level do not count towards the final A Level grade.
WHERE CAN I GO NEXT?
Those students whose A Levels include Geography may continue to study this subject at university, or study a related subject such as Geology, Social Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Planning or Archaeology.
An AS or A Level in Geography is a widely recognised and well-respected qualification, welcomed by employers and universities who appreciate that those with an A Level in Geography must have good communication and analytical skills, as well as a degree of practical application. It can lead to a wide range of careers including journalism, teaching, media and work with environmental agencies worldwide.