Social Sciences

Social Sciences
Social Sciences
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What will you be working towards?

Code Geo01
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Why study this subject?

Geography’s strength comes from the broad range of contemporary issues that we study. By looking at the way that human and physical geography interact, students get a much deeper understanding of today’s big issues. In addition to its subject matter geography develops a whole range of employability skills including numeracy, analytical skills, ICT and teamwork through regular field trips. The individual project that students will work on is a great way for students to demonstrate their ability to think and act independently. Geography is also considered to be a ‘facilitating subject’ by the Russell Group Universities.

Studying geography will give you access to a wide range of higher education options. The subject combines well with many other A Levels. In recent years we have had geography students go on to study related university degrees, which include: earth sciences or geophysics (pure physical geography combined with science) or international relations (the crossover of geography and politics), international development, as well as more traditional geography degrees.

Geographers are found in almost all careers; those closely associated with the subject such as planners, meteorologists and environmental scientists; and those where the skills learnt in the subject are important or useful, such as: law, accountancy, management, the civil, and armed services and many, many more. Indeed, it is difficult to find a walk of life where the diverse nature of a geographic education has not made an impact.


Component 1: Physical geography

• The topic that we study is the dramatic world of glaciated landscapes and the way that these landscapes were changed during past ice ages, as well as how they will change due to future climate change. You will have the opportunity to go on a residential fieldtrip in the summer to study a glaciated landscape in the UK (this is a voluntary trip and the course has cost between £350 – 400 in the past. Financial support may be available if your child is eligible for Pupil Premium). The topics studied in Year 13 show the diverse nature of this subject. Students will learn about the role of both the carbon cycles and water cycles as building blocks for life on earth and the importance of their management to our way of life on this planet.

Component 2: Human geography

• The human geography topics are wide ranging. First we will get behind the news headlines to study the reality of migration and the international laws that attempt to manage it. We will then focus on a geopolitics topic in which students will study the changing shape of the world’s political borders. This takes in contemporary conflicts such as the civil war in The Ukraine. Our next topic will focus on understanding how local places are shaped by global, national and local forces and we will undertake fieldwork in the local area (costing approximately £25 – this will be on the basis of a voluntary contribution and financial support may be available for those eligible for Pupil Premium).

Component 3: Geographical debates

• There are two longer topics that focus on specific issues and the relationship between the Human & Physical world. In tectonic hazards topic we will build on knowledge acquired at GCSE to gain a deeper understanding of the role that the moving tectonic plates have on our landscape and lives. In the Geography of Health topic, we look at health as an important building block in understanding how countries can develop. We also study the varying health challenges faced in different parts of the world as well as the decisions that have to be made by organisations like the WHO and pharmaceutical companies when confronting challenges like the containment of ebola or malaria.

Component 4: Independent investigation

• Students will have the chance to explore a topic of personal interest in their own independent investigation. They will be guided by their teachers throughout the process and we will use the residential trip in the UK to prepare the students for collecting their own data. It is this independent thinking that makes geographers highly valued.

How will it be delivered?

Unit 1: Physical systems

1 hour 45 minutes; 24% of the A Level qualification

Students will answer questions on the physical geography aspects of what they have studied.

Unit 2: Human interactions

1 hour 45 minutes; 24% of the A Level qualification

Students will answer questions on the human geography aspects of what they have studied.

Unit 3: Geographical debates

2 hours 30 minutes; 32% of the A Level qualification

Students will answer questions about tectonic hazards and the geography of health and interpret different sources of data to show that they can apply their knowledge to unfamiliar scenarios.

Unit 4: Independent investigation

20% of the A Level qualification

There is no exam paper involved. Students will submit their report for marking.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade 5 in Geography or 5 in English Language or Literature if not studied previously.

Your next steps...

Please apply directly to our School if you are interested in studying this subject.