What does the course involve?

The GCE Geography course gives a strong foundation for understanding the two main themes of the subject: Human Geography and Physical Geography. Between them, they are what make our planet function.   Human Geography deals with how people and the environment interact. It also looks at how people and groups move and live in the world around us. For example, students learn about issues seen in the papers and on the news everyday, including issues of sustainability, population pressures and peoples’ perception of place. Physical Geography is all about the scientific aspects of our world, with an emphasis on the processes that create them. It also debates the impacts of the environment on humans and looks into the future of the planet as we know it. The end result of studying Human and Physical Geography is that students have a better understanding of how mankind and the Earth work together. It is not all theory either, students will need to visit places of geographic interest and get involved in fieldwork.


There are two components to the AS level course:

Component 1 – Physical Geography and people and the environment covers Coastal Systems and Hazards

Component 2 – Human Geography and Geographical Skills covers Changing Places. It also examines field based on a research question developed by the student and the key geographical skills surrounding this.


There are three components to the A level Geography course:

Component 1 – Physical Geography covers water and carbon cycles, coastal systems and landscapes and hazards.

Component 2 – Human Geography covers global systems and global governance, changing places and population and the environment.

Component 3 – Geographical investigation is based on data collected in the field based on a research question developed by the student.


What qualifications do I need?

Previous study of Geography at GCSE level is not essential; however, a good pass (Grade 4 and above) in this subject at GCSE will indicate your aptitude for studying Geography at Advanced level and will certainly help you by developing knowledge and skills that you already have.


All learning resources such as text books and maps and any equipment which is necessary to carry out fieldwork will be provided by the department.


At AS there are two exams, each worth 50% and are examined in the summer of Year 12.

At A level, there are two written papers to complete in the summer of Year 13. Both the Physical and Human Geography papers are 2 hours and 30 minutes and worth 40% of the A level each. The remaining 20% is assessed in the fieldwork investigation, which is marked by teachers and moderated by the exam board. This involves an essential residential trip to the Lake District in November of Year 13 and carries a cost of around £220.


General Comments

If you specialise in Geography at higher education (or use your Geography A-Level as a stepping stone to study Geology at university) you could find yourself in careers such as charting oil wells or exploring rock formations throughout the world. And because Geography is about the interaction between people and our planet, this fascinating subject is valid for a number of different career paths, like advertising, environmental management, law or social services.   Students who take Geography find it goes well with Mathematics and Science subjects or any Art subject. This means Geography can either be a specialist subject, or play a strong supporting role for other subjects.


Future Prospects

Geography is going places …..

“One of the subjects with the highest rate of employability. It is highly valued by employers for its combination of knowledge, integration and competence at training in key skills.” Geographical Association

Videos from the Department

Mrs Pye, Head of Geography, goes into detail about the A-Level Geography course and discusses the content and their experiences with a couple of our Y13 students