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Sixth-form a-level-geography

A Level

Geography (Syllabus A)

What could this course lead to?

Geography can be studied as a Science, Arts or Humanities discipline at degree Level, either as a pure subject or in conjunction with other subjects, or as specific sub-areas of study such as Urban Studies, Geomorphology, or any number of other specific geographical areas of study. Please see courses offered in relevant university prospectuses, in Careers/Higher Study section of School Library.

GCSEs required

GCSE Geography Grade C is desirable. It is recommended that candidates have an equivalent to GCSE grade 4 in English.

What will I be studying?

“Geography….graduates least likely to be unemployed, only 7.4% were out of a job” – The Guardian News. Geography is a ‘facilitating subject’ – The Russell Group. These are just two of many reasons why you should study Geography. It is a subject that can open many doors at university and beyond. Geography is valued by employers as it promotes many of the skills that they look for in a graduate (team work skills, advanced analytical skills, critical thinking, understanding socio-economic environments and being able to interpret and understand complex data). Finally, it is a fun and interesting subject that gives you a better understanding of the world and the issues that you will face in your lifetime. 

This geography course is intellectually stimulating and relevant. It is designed to highlight the main issues and concepts that young adults are likely to encounter in their current and future lives, such that they can make better informed decisions and be sensitive to a wide range of viewpoints and challenges. The syllabus is issues and concept-based and enables students to address topics which suit their locality or offer suitable practical experiences such as fieldwork.

The Geography department delivers the AQA A Level. Due to recent changes in specifications students now have to sit a linear course that lasts throughout years 12 and 13. This means that exams will only be sat at the end of year 13.  

The specification content is as follows:

Physical geography

1. Water and carbon cycles
2. Coastal systems and landscapes
3. Hazards

Human geography

4. Global systems and global governance
5. Changing places
6. Population and the environment

Geography investigation 

7. Fieldwork

Students have to complete a 3000-4000-word fieldwork assignment that is marked by the teacher and assessed by the examination board. Students must have a 5-day field trip in order to complete this element of the course. So a residential field trip takes place in late September of upper sixth at Nettlecombe Court in the Quantocks.

What benefits does this subject have for university entrance?

Students undertaking this course will be well equipped to move into an extensive range of higher education courses in addition to Geography.

While many courses may not make use of specific geographical knowledge, the Department feels that students would greatly benefit from the wide range of skills and techniques acquired through the study of Geography A Level. These include communication, intellectual, practical, social and study skills; the collection of information and data through independent field enquiry; the presentation, analysis and interpretation of information; and the application and interpretation of statistical techniques.

How is it examined?

At the end of Year 13, students will have to sit two exams:
Physical Geography – 40% of the A Level grade
Human Geography – 40% of the A Level grade

Will I need to do coursework? 

Coursework Assignment – 3000-4000 words – 20% of the A Level grade.

Coursework: Yes.

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset

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