The new A level is a linear course spanning 2 years that looks at a range of contemporary topics and
issues that are assessed in 2 exam papers, Physical Geography and Human Geography, at the end of the course.
The areas of study for Physical geography include the water and carbon cycles as natural systems,
associated issues and threats such as flooding and deforestation, and the impact on the processes of climate change; Coastal systems, processes, land-forms and the issue of coastal zone management; and the nature, impact and management of various natural hazards (volcanic, seismic, atmospheric cyclones).
The areas of study for Human Geography are global systems and governance (globalization); Changing
Places with a focus on distinguishing between clearly contrasting local and distant places (endogenous and exogenous factors); contemporary urban environments and the issues surrounding sustainable urban living.
In addition, students are required to undertake a geographical investigation that requires fieldwork
and the collection of data in order to answer a key question or hypothesis defined by the candidate in relation to the course specification. This will normally be undertaken at a Field Studies Council centre, where they have years of expertise and the necessary resources to maximise our student’s learning. often a residential experience
Beyond A level
Geography is a useful A level when applying for a wide range of university courses as it acts as a natural
bridge between humanities and sciences. At University students of Geography may continue with a closely related degree (Geography, Environmental Geography, Geology, Urban Management and Planning, Meteorology etc.) or other associated degrees (leisure and tourism, business etc.). A Geography degree can lead to a variety of occupations in industry, business and law firms and in
applied disciplines such as Urban Planning, Meteorology, and Environmental Protection.
To undertake A level you do not need to have done Geography at GCSE. You should have a good standard of written English (GCSE English grade 6 or above) and GCSE Geographers should have achieved at least a 6 grade. A genuine interest and curiosity in physical global processes, landscape formation, the environment and current affairs surrounding globalisation and population pressure on urban areas would be most helpful.