A Level Geography
Geography literally means to “write about the world”. During this A Level Geography course we will focus on a range of topics, both compulsory and optional, to help you develop your understanding of the world and those processes that underpin it. This will help you to write about your world.
There is no requirement to have studied GCSE Geography, but if you have, you will find that A Level builds on the skills and knowledge that you have already developed. The skills that you have developed in Maths and Science will also support you through the course.
Geography is an ever-changing subject, and this means that we can be at the forefront of changes to our world. It also means that we can develop our knowledge through current issues, and we will use these issues to support our knowledge as case studies.
We will have the opportunity to study vastly different areas of the world, including the strongest storm to ever hit Fiji (or the Southern Hemisphere) – that only led to 44 deaths, compared to an earthquake, followed by a cholera outbreak, followed by a tropical storm, that led to around 220,000 deaths, and why these differences occur. We will look at how West Bromwich and the Jewellery Quarter have changed over time, and how globalisation affects every single person on the planet.
During your time with us, you will develop your skills to discover as much as you can about our planet, the different systems that affect it and how that leads to the current issues that we see with our planet today, including increasing numbers of tropical storms, international conflicts, and the impacts of climate change.
FIRST YEAR – AS LEVEL
The AS course consists of two physical and one human module:
Coastal Systems and Landscapes – this focuses on the coast as a system, looks at the processes taking place and how we can effectively manage these systems.
Hazards – a topic that focuses on geographical hazards, such as tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires, tropical storms, but is most interested in how we respond to these events as humans.
Changing Places – a fascinating topic that looks at how we perceive places, including the fact that different people perceive the same place differently. There are elements of migration and population change in this topic, along with land-use.
Fieldwork – this is assessed in Paper 2 of your exam, so on the same paper as your Changing Places question. For this paper we will also go on at least 2 days of fieldwork; currently these are a river study and a study of the changes taking place in and around Birmingham.
SECOND YEAR – A LEVEL
The A2 course consists of two human and one physical module. The A Level course will re-visit the topics of AS on the final papers, but will also include the new topics of:
Global Systems and Governance – a study of globalisation, looking at how the world is interlinked and the impact that this has on the different countries and groups around the world.
Contemporary Urban Environments – this topic ties human and physical geography together; it focuses on how we have developed and use our urban environments and how we can make them sustainable in the future.
Water and Carbon Cycles – this builds on work from GCSE, it considers the water and carbon cycles, alongside their impact on the environment.
Fieldwork – there will be an additional 2 days of fieldwork here (these must be attended as the college has to sign a declaration for each student).
Non-examined Assessment – this is an independent piece of fieldwork that accounts for 20% of your final grade; you can choose any topic to do as long as it links to the A Level specification. There will be some general support for this, but ultimately it is your own piece of work, not unlike a dissertation at degree level.
All students studying A Levels should have at least five GCSEs at grade 9 – 5 in academic subjects, including English Language at grade 5. Two of these should be grade 6. There are no other specific requirements to study Geography beyond this, nor do you have to have studied it at GCSE, but you do need a passion for the subject.
AS Course – 2 90-minute papers; 1 physical and 1 human (with fieldwork). This is 100% of the AS grade.
A2 Course – 2 180-minute papers; 1 physical and 1 human. These account for 80% of your mark, the final 20% is from your NEA which is marked by your teacher.
This is a linear course so any exams sat at AS Level do not count towards the final A Level grade. All exams for AS and A2 are sat in May/June of each year.
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 A Level 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.
• Over 12 years teaching experience around the West Midlands, including GCSE, A Level and Alternative Provision.
• Qualified SENCo with a PG Diploma in Special Educational Needs
• Passionate about educating everyone (including myself, I have qualifications from 4 universities!)