Geography A Level is changing from 2016 with a greater emphasis on fieldwork and investigation. Students will be studying for a two year linear A Level with the option to complete a stand alone AS qualification at the end of the first year.
The Core content for the new A Level makes up 60% of the course and will include:
Water and carbon cycle; investigating the self regulating systems on our planet and the way humans can interfere with and manage these cycles.
Landscape Systems (one of Coasts, Glaciation or Dry Lands); physical geography topics looking at natural landforms in our environment and the physical processes which form them, including the human use and management of these fragile landscapes
Global Systems and Governance (e.g. trade, inequalities, population and migration, human rights, sovereignty); investigating the interaction between people on the planet at an international level and the impact this has on development, population and trade.
Changing Places (e.g. Nature of place, cultural diversity, economic restructuring and re-branding, food production); researching the identity of places and people around the world and the way that this identity can be changed and influenced.
Outline of course
The course content is made up of 4 compulsory units such as Population Dynamics and Rivers; optional topics include Plate Tectonics, Weather Systems and Hazards, Geomorphological Processes, World Health Issues, the Geography of Conflicts and Global Women’s Rights.
There is a big emphasis on fieldwork in the new Geography A Level with 2 days compulsory fieldwork required for AS and 4 days compulsory fieldwork for the A Level qualification. There is also the opportunity to undertake international fieldwork to Iceland as part of the course.
Students will learn a wide range of geographical skills across the two year course including graphical and cartographic skills, statistical analysis, research and investigative skills, and decision making. These skills are transferable to other subjects and one of the reasons why Geography is considered to be a ‘facilitating subject’ and highly sought after by universities and employees alike.
The main assessment is through external examinations at the end of the two year linear course, including short and longer answer questions on course content, geographical skills and fieldwork. 20% of the assessment is through a personal coursework investigation, where students plan and carry out their own fieldwork data collection and present, analyse and evaluate their findings.
Geographers develop a huge range of cross-curricular skills and knowledge during their A Level course and the subject sits well with arts, sciences or humanities courses. Geography graduates have the second highest employability upon leaving their university course after Medicine.
A grade B at Geography GCSE is required to access this course, along with 4 other GCSE passes at grade B or above.
Students are expected to have a real interest in the subject, and the world around us. They are required to read around the subject to build a broad understanding of the subject matter and are advised to take the Geography Review magazine, which can be ordered through school. There are a wide range of materials on Moodle that provide wider reading and exam based assessments.
Outside of the Classroom
Apart from the 2 field trips which are compulsory parts of the course, we also offer the chance for students to visit Iceland to see the amazing volcanic scenery and witness the impact of the 2010 eruption. The trip of a lifetime! We also run trips to a number of university lectures and take the opportunity to get out of the classroom and study our amazing coastline in Year 12.
Reasons to Study
The subject links very well to Biology and Chemistry as well as the Social Sciences, with its social, political and economic influences. It is a facilitating A Level that is highly regarded by Universities and employers.
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