Geography

Geography1

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“Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future". Michael Palin

Geography has strong links with other subjects such as biology, maths, history, geology, environmental science, economics and business studies.  It develops a range of enquiry, scientific and analytical skills, and encourages more independent approaches to learning through your own research.

Who is it for?

Geography is for YOU if you are interested in issues of current relevance and concern, like natural hazards, population growth, global warming, poverty, inequality and sustainable development.

Entry Requirements

In addition to the general entrance requirements, the department requires a grade C or better in geography, if taken. It is not compulsory to have taken GCSE geography and acceptance onto the course is, ultimately, at the discretion of the Geography Department.

Course content

At A level, we follow the Edexcel 2016 A level course, which comprises the following areas of study:

Area of study 1: Dynamic Landscapes

  • Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change

Area of study 2: Dynamic Places

  • Topic 3: Globalisation
  • Topic 4: Shaping Places

Area of study 3: Physical Systems and Sustainability

  • Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Area of study 4: Human Systems and Geopolitics

  • Topic 7: Superpowers
  • Topic 8: Global Development and Connections

Coursework: Independent Investigation

The purpose of this coursework is to test students’ skills in independent investigation.

Students are required to undertake an independent investigation that involves (but which need not be restricted to) fieldwork. The focus of the investigation must be derived from the specification the student is studying. The guidance for word length is 3000-4000 words.

Student will define a question or issue relating to the compulsory or optional content. The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data. The student’s report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing.

Weekly commitment

You can expect to have five hours class time per week, with private study, research and background reading expected of you.

Independent Research

Research is a core aspect of both year 12 and 13.  Students must be willing to work independently and will be assessed on their independent work. 

Assessment

Examinations are taken and assessed at the end of year 13 and comprise the following papers:

Paper 1 (Paper code: 9GE0/01)

Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes, 30% of the qualification = 105 marks

Content overview

  • Area of study 1, Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Area of study 1, Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change including optional sub-topics of: Coastal Landscapes and Change
  • Area of study 3, Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • Area of study 3, Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Paper 2 (Paper code: 9GE0/02)

Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes, 30% of the qualification = 105 marks

Content overview

  • Area of study 2, Topic 3: Globalisation
  • Area of study 2, Topic 4: Shaping Places –4A Regenerating Places
  • Area of study 4, Topic 7: Superpowers
  • Area of study 4, Topic 8: Global Development and Connections – 8B Migration, Identity and Sovereignty

Paper 3 (*Paper code: 9GE0/03)

Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes, 20% of the qualification = 70 marks

Content overview

The specification contains three synoptic themes within the compulsory content areas:

  • Players
  • Attitudes and actions
  • Futures and uncertainties.

The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to the three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.

Assessment overview

An externally assessed written examination comprising three sections. A resource booklet will contain information about the geographical issue.

Sections A, B and C all draw synoptically on knowledge and understanding from compulsory content drawn from different parts of the course.

The examination may include short open, open response and resource-linked questions. The examination includes 8-mark; 18-mark and 24-mark extended writing questions. Calculators may be used.

Coursework: Independent Investigation (9GE0/04)

Non-examined assessment

20% of the qualification 70 marks

Content overview

The student defines a question or issue for investigation, relating to the compulsory or optional content. The topic may relate to any aspect of geography contained within the specification

The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data

The fieldwork, which forms the focus and context of the individual investigation, may be either human, physical or integrated physical-human

The investigation report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing

Students will be expected to show evidence that they have used both quantitative and qualitative data to support their independent investigation as appropriate to the particular environment and/or location.

Additional Costs

There are two field trips during the course.

The approximate costs are:

Swanage (not compulsory, but encouraged as needed for paper 3 and coursework): £150 approximately.

Manchester (not compulsory, but encouraged as needed paper 3 and coursework): £170 approximately.

Iceland (bi-annual trip not compulsory):   £960 approximately.

Lectures and conferences:  In addition, there are a number of conferences and other excursions for which small charges of approx. £10 - £25 are made. 

Geography Review Magazine (optional):  £12.75 per year.

Career Prospects

Many students move on to higher education to do geography or related subjects.  Geography leads on to many career opportunities and is in demand in such areas as accountancy, marketing, tourism, agriculture, outdoor leisure, human resources, oceanography, travel, economics, environmental science, engineering, anthropology, development studies, earth studies and many, many more.

For further information, contact:

Mr A Lovesey, Head of Geography