Sixth Form: Geography

Subject Overview

Why study Geography?

Geography is a forward looking subject that provides you with the opportunities to question the world around you.  It is often seen as a bridge between the sciences and humanities enabling you to gain the necessary understanding and skills for a wide range of future careers.

Study Geography if the follow applies to you:

  • You enjoy learning about people and their societies, economies, cultures, and the environments
  • You are keen to learn and develop a wide range of skills

“There has never been a better and more important time to study geography.  With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose to study.  Geographers are also highly employable.  Whatever you passion for the world, - fascination with landscapes or concerns about inequality – geography will provide you with the knowledge and transferable skills that will reward you personally and advance you professionally”   Dr Rita Gardner Director of the RGS-IBG

The Royal Geographical Society has outlined the benefits of studying Geography - why study Geography?

Michael Palin, as former President of the Royal Geographical Society, outlines how important he feels Geography is:  "Geography students hold the solution to the world's problems"

Entry Requirements

Grade 5 in GCSE Geography. To take the course you will need an enthusiasm to learn about our world and a commitment to study hard. 

Syllabus

Advanced Level : Awarding body AQA

This is an exciting A level course which focuses upon people and environments.  At all stages the emphasis is on investigating topical issues that can affect all of our lives now and in the future.  These might include flooding, climate change, tectonic and climatic hazards, globalisation, changing places and resource security.

The approach in lessons is varied, emphasis being on staff guidance and motivation, with students being encouraged to develop their skills and strengths.  A variety of teaching and learning styles will be adopted including geographical enquiry, problem solving, decision making, debate, seminar presentation and supported self-study.

Specification

Across the two years you will complete units on both physical and human geography, investigating a variety of topics, issues and questions.  This will include the following: 

  • Are our coastal environments in danger and if so is it our fault?
  • How are we putting Antarctica at risk?
  • How do places change over time?  What is the impact of this?
  • What is the carbon cycle and how does it influence our changing climate?
  • What creates our perception of place?
  • Are our world cities prepared for the future?
  • What challenges face urban populations?

You will also complete an independent geographical investigation based on one of the various topics studied.  All students will have to opportunity to collect primary data as well as secondary research to help them investigate their choice of topic. 

More information on the AQA specification can be found here

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/as-and-a-level/geography-7037 (Link to specification)

Assessment

Geography is assessed in the final summer through two exams.  There is also an independent investigation which will be completed in the second year.  This is worth 20% of the A level. 

The examined units are split into physical geography and human geography components.  Each exam will contain a variety of tasks ranging from shorted answer questions to structured essays.  The exams will test your knowledge and understanding, application and skills.

Activities and trips - Fieldwork

This is an essential and integral part of A Level Geography. A fieldtrip will be run during year 12.  This enables you to gain practical experience of geographical skills and techniques required for your independent investigation as well as helping understanding in the other topic areas.  Practical skills are used frequently to enhance knowledge and understanding of the subject as a whole.   

Expected Costs

The approximate cost for the fieldwork trip is £250.  This is to be confirmed when student numbers and fieldcourse requirements are finalised. 

Complementary Subject Combinations

Geography is a subject that encompasses a wide range of key skills so is complementary to the majority of other A-Level courses including Maths, Science, Humanities, English etc. 

Subject Resources

Course references and Useful Links

Geography is a current and ever changing subject and Geography students should be up to date with the ever changing world.

Keep up to date with relevant news, ideas etc. through the Geography Department twitter feed:

Other useful websites include:

Other information

Higher Education/Career Opportunities

Geographers use their skills and knowledge in a wide variety of careers including:

  • Financial service
  • Marketing and Retailing
  • Management
  • Personnel
  • Computing
  • Information Services
  • Conservation
  • Leisure and Tourism
  • Water Companies
  • Planning
  • Heritage Management
  • The Media
  • Public Services
  • Research
  • Teaching

Graduates of Geography enjoy high levels of employment.  The subject is highly valued by employers for its knowledge base and integration of key skills.  See:-

http://www.rgs.org/GeographyToday/Geography+in+the+UK.htm