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Do you enjoy reflecting on the world today? Would you like to learn about Geography in greater depth and detail than you have previously? Are you interested in challenging perceptions and stimulating your investigative and analytical skills? Are you interested in the world around you and current social, economic, and environmental issues? If the answers to any of these questions are ‘yes,’ then A level Geography is the subject for you!
A Level Geography is a course designed to develop a sound understanding and knowledge of geographical issues, examining the interaction of people and their environments through detailed case studies. Competence in Geographical skills will be developed during study of the course which allows you to study both the physical and human aspects of Geography, whilst challenging your perceptions. You will gain graphical, cartographic, statistical and ICT skills along with learning how to construct extended written arguments about Geographical matters.
A Level Geography is taught from the AQA board specification and is taught over two years. At the end of the first year, you will sit the AS exams which test your knowledge and understanding from the first year. You will then go on to sit the A level in the second year which covers content from both years. You will also complete a Non-Examined Assessment (coursework) which is worth 20% of your overall grade. You will need to undertake fieldwork in relation to processes in both physical and human geography as part of the course and this includes four days of fieldwork on a compulsory trip.
A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 and above.
A grade 5 in GCSE English Language, GCSE Maths and GCSE Geography.
In each year you will study aspects of Physical and Human Geography as well as Fieldwork Skills. You will build on the concepts studied in the first year in the second year.
1. ‘Physical Geography’: In this unit you will investigate water and carbon cycles and human interaction with these cycles and the impact of global warming on them. You will also study Hazards includes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms, and wildfires and how humans manage these and mitigate against disaster.
2. ‘Human geography’: This unit explores how places change over time through redevelopment, gentrification, immigration, and employment. You will explore two case studies, including St Paul’s in Bristol and Detroit in the United States, as part of this unit.
3. ‘Geography Fieldwork’: You will undertake four days of fieldwork which includes a trip to the Field Studies Centre in Slapton Sands in Devon where you will complete a coastal study, an urban environment study in Plymouth and a water and carbon cycle study.
1. ‘Physical Geography’: You will build upon what you have studied in the first year and extend this with a further study of coastal systems and landscapes. You will investigate natural coastal processes, such as erosion, deposition, weathering, and mass movement. You will explore how humans can manage coastal environments in Holderness in Yorkshire and Sundarbans in Bangladesh.
2. ‘Human Geography’: You will also further develop your skills and knowledge in human geography in the second year. You will explore population change and the environment and look at the impact of disease. You will also examine global systems including international trade, trans-national corporations, and the case study of Antarctica.
3. ‘Geography fieldwork’: - Students are required to undertake an independent investigation. This must incorporate a significant element of fieldwork. The fieldwork undertaken as part of the individual investigation may be based on either human or physical aspects of geography, or a combination of both. This Non-Examined Assessment (coursework) comprises 20% of the final grade.
Geography is a wide-ranging subject, with links across the Arts, Sciences and Humanities. This means that there are lots of possible subject combinations. You may want to combine Geography with Environmental Science if you have a particular interest in the science behind climate change, energy resources or sustainability. Whilst you may also like to combine it with other subjects such as Law, Business, Economics, Politics or Sociology to further the themes studied in the human geography elements of the programme.
If you study Geography, you could go on to do a variety of different degrees in Higher Education in many areas, from Geology, Environment-related courses to Medicine and Law. The skills developed and knowledge acquired are also useful for many careers. There is also a growing number of opportunities to use the skills you have developed in Geography for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
Geography has a compulsory field trip to Slapton Sands in Devon as part of the course for the fieldwork investigation. You may also choose to join our Sustainability Academy to further develop your understanding of issues around sustainability and gain an additional qualification. There are also a variety of Geography related talks in our Sixth Form Talks series from academics and employers working in Geography related areas of research and policy.