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What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

Geography will appeal to you if: 

  • you are interested by the world’s places, peoples and environments 
  • you like asking questions and finding answers 
  • you are interested in local, regional and global issues 
  • you have the ability to think independently 
  • have an interest in exploring human, physical and environmental geographical relationships. 

What will I learn about?

The world we live in is changing. Geography allows you to see why and how it is changing. It can enhance communication skills, literacy and numeracy, IT literacy, spatial awareness, team working, problem solving and environmental awareness. 

During Y12 you will study global themes including tectonic processes and hazards and the causes and consequences of globalisation. You will discover how your own actions can relate to a wider world, be it your local area or a country far away.
Area of Study 1 – Dynamic Landscapes  (Studied in Year 12)

  • Topic 1 – Tectonic Processes and Hazards 
  • Topic 2 – Coastal landscapes and change 

In this unit you will study a range of tectonic processes, their causes, effects and the responses to these hazards. You will also study coastal landscapes and the physical and human processes that influence these dynamic areas.

Investigating the impact of geopolitical interventions on both human health and human rights, something which is both variable and contested.

Area of Study 2 – Dynamic Places (Studied in Year 12)

  • Topic 3 – Globalisation 
  • Topic 4 – Regenerating places 

In this unit you will study globalisation, its causes and consequences for different people and places. You will also focus on regeneration of both urban and rural areas. 

Area of study 3 – Physical Systems and Sustainability (Studied in Year 13)

  • Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity 

Water cycle, human and natural factors that impact on water cycling, consequences for water security and future water conflicts. 

  • Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security 

Carbon cycle, human and natural factors impacting on carbon cycling, the consequences for ecosystems and management strategies. 

Exploring the links between the carbon and water cycles through climate change. 

Area of study 4: Human systems and Geopolitics (Studied in Year 13) 

  • Topic 8: Superpowers 

Superpowers, the reasons for shifting economic and political power, the impacts of superpowers, influence of superpowers in governing the global commons. 

  • Topic 9: Health, Human Rights and Intervention 

What minimum qualification will I need to start the course?

Grade 4 in English Language and Grade 4 in Geography at GCSE.

How will I be assessed?

The Geography A-level qualification is comprised of three examinations and one non-examined assessment (coursework). The examinations are all sat at the end of Year 13. The NEA is completed during both Year 12 and 13. 

Paper 1 – Physical Geography

(30% contribution to A level qualification, total marks 105) 
This is a 2 hour and 15 minutes examination. It will assess area of study 1 – Dynamic Landscapes and area of study 3 - Physical Systems and Sustainability. 

Paper 2 – Human Geography

(30% contribution to A level qualification, total marks 105) 

This is a 2 hour and 15 minutes examination. It will assess area of study 2 – Dynamic Places and area of study 4 Human Systems and Geopolitics. 

Paper 3 (20% contribution to A level qualification, total marks 70) 

This is a 2 hour and 15 minutes examination. It will include a colour resource booklet and will be a synoptic investigation of a geographical issue. You will use of the knowledge and skills you have gained throughout the course to answer extended questions on this issue. 

Non-examined assessment: Independent Investigation 

(20% contribution to A level qualification, total marks 70) 

This piece of coursework allows you to focus on a geographical issue of your choice, collect data and analyse your findings. The recommended word count is 3000-4000 words. The NEA is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Fieldwork in A level Geography

In Year 12, you will have the opportunity to participate in a coastal geography visit and will also conduct an investigation into urban rebranding. Fieldwork can be a great experience which allows you to apply your knowledge and understanding in a practical way. We will visit the Northumberland coast to study coastal processes and study urban and rural settlements in and around the local area. The purpose of this fieldwork is to provide you with an opportunity to collect data which will form your independent investigation. 

Depending on numbers we are also looking at introducing a new visit to Iceland as part of the Geography A level course. It will be a fantastic opportunity to experience the tectonic processes and impacts of globalisation which you will study in the classroom. We would visit the infamous Blue Lagoon, walk across glaciers and investigate how globalisation is affecting the capital city Reykjavik. 

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

An A level in Geography opens doors! 

You will find that studying Geography is a brilliant step towards a wider range of HE courses or employment opportunities. Geography students gain a wide range of skills which both universities and employers highly value due to their dynamic nature. Being both a science and a humanities subject, Geography provides you with a wide range of options after the completion of your course. 

Last year, 40% of our Year 13s went on to study for a geography degree at University. 

Further education – geographers can go on to study higher level courses, including foundation degrees, undergraduate BA or BSc degrees and/or BTEC Higher Nationals. 

Employment – geographers can go into a wide range of jobs, including, advertising, education, environmental management, law, town planning, management, finance, marketing, sales, health and social services, tourism industries, conservation work, disaster management and travel writing to name a few! 

How can I find out more information?

Interested?  Speak to the Geography department to find out more information. There are 5 members of staff who teach A level Geography; Miss Story, Mrs Robson-Jarvis, Miss Dodd, Miss Pennell and the Leader of Teaching and Learning in Geography, Miss Todd.