Friday, 24 November, 2017


There has never been a better time to study Geography!

Geographical issues are becoming increasingly frequent in local, national and international debates on key issues including pollution, world poverty, immigration, globalisation and the seemingly more common and devastating natural disasters.  Having knowledge and understanding of geographical issues has become essential in modern industry, government, science and education and as a consequence, good Geographers are becoming ever more sought after.

Studying Geography at GCSE is unique with the range of transferable key skills acquired throughout the course, including primary and secondary data collection and interpretation, report writing, numeracy, literacy, and ICT.  Consequently, Geographers can go on to study a range of post-16 courses and it is recognised as one of the most employable subjects.

The A Level courses provide an equal balance between studies of the human and physical environment and are particularly appropriate for those with a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in the environment and current affairs, a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate them effectively. Students who secure a Grade B or above in GCSE Geography should feel well-qualified to embark on the course.

GCSE and A Level pupils will have opportunities to investigate the course through field trips including Cambridge, The North Norfolk Coast and a projected expedition to Iceland.

The Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9–1) in Geography A consists of three externally- examined papers.

Students must complete all assessments in May/June in any single year.

Component 1: The Physical Environment 

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 37.5% of the qualification
94 marks

Content overview

  • Topic 1. The changing landscapes of the UK – including optional sub-topics from which students choose two from three, 1A: Coastal landscapes and processes, 1B: River landscapes and processes and 1C: Glaciated upland landscapes and processes.
  • Topic 2: Weather hazards and climate change
  • Topic 3. Ecosystems, biodiversity and management

Assessment overview

An externally-assessed written exam with three 30-mark sections.

Component 2: The Human Environment 

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 37.5% of the qualification
94 marks

Content overview

  • Topic 4: Changing cities
  • Topic 5: Global development
  • Topic 6: Resource management–including optional sub-topics from which students choose one from two, 6A: Energy resource management and 6B: Water resource management

Assessment overview

An externally-assessed written exam with three 30-mark sections.

Component 3: Geographical Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges 

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes 25% of the qualification
64 marks

Content overview

  • Topic7: Geographical investigations−fieldwork
  • Topic8: Geographical investigations−UK challenges

Assessment overview

An externally-assessed written exam with three sections.

"Where we come from, what we do, what we eat, how we move about and how we shape our future are all directly the province of the geographer. More than ever we need the geographer's skills and foresight to help us learn about the planet — how we use it and how we abuse it." – Michael Palin

The A level course will be organised so that AS Level content will be taught in Year 12 with the rest of the content making up the full A Level taught in Year 13.

The OCR A Level in Geography has been designed to give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to become engaged global citizens. Through the study of dynamic and contemporary content, learners can understand and interact with issues which affect people and places at a range of scales from local to global – and all that is in-between.

Components within the OCR A Level in Geography will consist of:

- Physical systems (01) 1hr 30min written paper. 22% of A-Level.
- Human interactions (02) 1hr 30min written paper.  22% of A –Level.
- Geographical debates (03) 2hr 30min written paper.  36% of A-Level.
- Investigative geography (04/05). Non-examination Assessment.  20% of A-Level.

Through the study of Physical systems (01) learners will develop an understanding and appreciation of Landscape Systems, contextualised through either coastal landscapes, dryland landscapes or glaciated landscapes, and Earth's Life Support Systems, which encompasses the water and carbon cycles vital to our planet.

Learners will explore Human interactions (02) through the study of Global Connections, with a choice between focusing on the systems of trade or migration and the governance of human rights or sovereignty on a global scale, and Changing Spaces; Making Places, which gives learners an insight into the nature of places and the fluidity of their meanings and representations.

Geographical debates (03) allows teachers and learners to explore in depth two from a choice of five of the most challenging, dynamic and fascinating issues of the 21st century. With choices between such wide-ranging topic areas as climate change, disease, food security, oceans and tectonic hazards, there are debates to appeal to all with the implications on people and the environment being at the heart of this component.

The Investigative geography (04/05) component allows learners to undertake an independent investigation linked to any aspect of the specification to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. This component is designed to encourage learners to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their chosen topic whilst developing a number of geographical and study skills relevant to Higher Education or within the world of work.

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