The A level geography course is open to students who have or have not studied this subject at GCSE, as long as the entry requirements are met. This course helps you to understand how physical and human environments are linked, and how they interact to create effects which influence our daily lives.

You will develop an understanding of the environment we live in and the causes and effects of continued global change. There are a range of opportunities to learn and work in a range of ways both in and outside of the classroom. Local fieldwork opportunities are given throughout the course, there is also a compulsory residential to complete the fieldwork required for the independent research task.


Physical geography

  • Topic 1 - Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Topic 2 - Landscape Systems, Processes and Change - this includes sub-topics options 2A. Glaciated Landscapes and Change or 2B. Coastal Landscapes and Change
  • Topic 5 - The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • Topic 6 - The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

(Details about the content within each unit are available from geography teaching staff)

Human geography

  • Topic 3 - Globalisation
  • Topic 4 - Shaping Places - this includes sub-topics options 4A. Regenerating Places or 4B. Diverse Places
  • Topic 7 Superpowers
  • Topic 8 Global Development and Connections - this includes sub-topics options 8A. Health, Human Rights or Intervention or 8B. Migration, Identity and Sovereignty

Synoptic Investigation

Students must complete an investigation based on a geographical issue within a specific area which is linked to two or more of the compulsory content areas.

Independent investigation

Students must complete an individual investigation which includes data collection in the field. This is based on a question or issue from any aspect of the course specification.


Element of course % of final grade examined by
Physical geography 30% 2hr15min written exam
Human geography 30% 2hr15min written exam
Synoptic investigation 20% 2hr15min written exam
Independent investigation 20% 3000-4000 word report, internal assessment following fieldwork. Moderated by exam board.


You will develop many skills throughout the course which is one of the reasons geography is viewed as a prestigious subject and is also classed as one of the top ten facilitating subjects for the top universities in the country.






 Mini mock – 90 mark paper




UK landscapes (coasts and rivers)

Range of questions covering all learned content so far



Complete content from spring

Independent investigations


Water cycle and insecurity

Full mock



 Independent investigations


Water cycle and insecurity

 Full mock of year 12 (AS content)



Carbon cycle and energy resources

Health, human rights and intervention

Synoptic paper

Full mock + Independent investigation marks


Qualification & Board

Edexcel A level Geography  

Course Content (for A level, how this follows on from GCSE)

There has never been a better or more important time to study A level Geography. Dealing with vital issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation, social issues and natural hazards, A level Geography is one of the most relevant subjects you could choose to study.

The a-level course builds upon the knowledge gained at GCSE to allow you to understand the complexities of Geographical systems and human interactions with them on a range of scales. A level Geography is split into human and physical geography, however geography is a very fluid subject with some of the issues overlapping.

To study A level Geography, you need to have an enquiring and open mind. Geography is a study of the world around us and you need to be aware of issues worldwide, not just in the UK and be able to debate these issues from opposing viewpoints. Reading newspapers and articles to keep your subject knowledge up to date is vital.

A basic grasp of maths is required and the ability to interpret graphs and analyse them is fundamental, along with basic maps skills.

Potential Career paths

Geography is a high skill option which develops a range of skills including; data handling and analysis, data presentation, questioning, Reasoning, team work, research skills, the ability to approach problems with a holistic attitude rather than looking at just one issue and understanding of scale and how things operate on a

variety of levels. As a result of this, employers and universities really value this as a subject. The top UK universities class A level Geography as a facilitating subject for any course. It feeds into a high amount of careers including conservation, policing, armed forces, teaching, law, journalism, tourism, engineering, management, civil aviation, government, geology, hazard management and many more.

Assessments (inc. field work / assessed practicals)

Geography is assessed by both exam and coursework.

Paper 1 – Dynamic Landscapes and Physical systems and sustainability (30% of final grade)

 * Tectonic Processes

 * Coastal landscapes and change

 * Water cycle and water insecurity

 * Carbon cycle and energy security

Paper 2 – Dynamic Places and Human Systems and Geopolitics (30% of final grade)

 * Regenerating Places

 * Globalisation

 * Superpowers

 * Health, Human Rights and Intervention

Paper 3 – Synoptic Investigation (20% of final grade)

 * Based on a resource booklet to link together all of the above topics

Paper 4 – Individual Investigation (20% of final grade)

 * Independent research based task including fieldwork with a 3-4000 word report in appropriate sections.

Geographical skills are assessed throughout all papers.

There are a minimum of 4 compulsory fieldwork sessions to attend as part of the course.

Core or Option


No. GCSE / A Level equivalent

 1 A level