An introduction to Geography A-level

A brief overview from our A-level teachers.

What does it involve?

Geography complements many subjects and the A-level course will excite students’ minds, challenge perceptions and stimulate their investigative and analytical skills.

Split into three components, students will study Physical Geography, including topics such as hazards and coastal systems; Human Geography with topics such as population and global governance, and a final component relating to fieldwork investigation which will be conducted on a residential trip.

A-level Geography is one of the most relevant subjects you could choose to study as it deals with vital contemporary issues such as climate change, geopolitical affairs, environmental degradation, social issues and natural hazards. Studying Geography at A-level develops a wide range of very useful and marketable skills. Students develop their literacy (through writing esays and extended prose) and numeracy (through carrying out statistical analysis) and acquire a range of practical data collection and data manipulation skills. both in and outside the classroom with the use of computers.

How is it assessed?

Students are assessed through two written examination papers at the end of the course. Each paper is worth 40% of the final mark. There is also a coursework element which is an individual geographical fieldwork investigation. This consists of a 3,000-4,000 word study based on a question or issue relating to their studies.

Which skills or qualifications do I need?

Students will usually have achieved a Grade 6 in GCSE Geography in addition to good passes in English and Mathematics. However studying Geography at GCSE is not compulsory and students wishing to follow this pathway should talk to the Head of Faculty.

University or employment prospects?

Statistics show that Geography graduates are typically likely to be offered a job at the end of their degree course. The development of problem solving and critical thinking skills mean many career paths are on offer ranging from more obvious options such as a town planner, environmental consultant and landscape architect to careers in non-governmental organisations or in business.