Geography - A level

What will I learn?

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.

Topics covered

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.

How is the course graded?

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.

What is next for me after this course?

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.