Throughout the GCSE Geography course students have the opportunity to consider a variety of geographical issues and, in doing so, become knowledgeable and critical geographers. There is a strong emphasis on the understanding of physical processes in the environment, as well as the management and mismanagement of resources by people.  Students also have the opportunity during this course to develop their fieldwork skills.

Outline of Course

The course is divided into three main themes:

Section 1:       Living with the physical environment

In this section study will focus on the challenge of natural hazards including volcanoes, earthquakes and tropical storms. Weather and climate change is also a focus, followed by physical landscapes of the UK including coasts and rivers. Finally, the living world which includes ecosystems such as tropical rainforests and hot deserts or cold environments.

Section 2:      Challenges in the human environment

This section covers population, urban growth, the changing economic world and global development.  Resource management including the global distribution of food, water and energy and in particular detail the demand for food resources globally are also a focus.

Section 3:       Geographical applications and skills

This section involves the undertaking two different fieldwork tasks that will be assessed in the final examinations at the end of Year 11.  Pre-released


There are three exam papers at the end of Year 11. The first examination focuses on section 1 of the course, physical geography. It is 90 minutes long, worth 88 marks and makes up 35% of the total GCSE grade. The second paper is also 90 minutes long and worth 88 marks, also making up 35% of the GCSE grade. This examination focuses on section 2 of the course, human geography. The final paper is 75 minutes long. It is worth a total of 76 marks and makes up 30% of the total GCSE grade. This examination has a focus on section 3, geographical applications and skills. There is no controlled assessment for Geography. The examination makes up 100% of the final grade.

What can I do with a Geography Qualification?

A GCSE in geography is a stepping stone to a whole range of future opportunities. The skills you develop will help you in education and employment.

A good grade at GCSE will help you move on to any A level or vocational A level course. If you enjoy your geography GCSE, you might want to continue with this subject, or study a related subject. Biology, geology, environmental science, government & politics, economics, history, sociology, travel & tourism and leisure & recreation all have close links with some of the material you study for this GCSE.

Careers directly related to geography include: government worker, surveyors, land and water management, hazard specialists, property development, tourism and conservation.

Careers that use geographers’ skills include: information technology, financial sector, advertising, engineering, construction, marketing, manufacturing, current affairs, journalism, teaching and law.

  • Geographers have great enquiry skills. They can ask and answer difficult questions.
  • Geographers are good at observing changes in the environment and looking forward into the future to assess the impact of what we are doing today.
  • Geographers are knowledgeable about places near and far.
  • Geographers are able to explain complex ideas and present them in creative ways.
  • Geographers understand sustainable development. Most companies and organisations have policies on sustainability.
  • Geographers can also do wonderful things with maps, not just atlases and paper maps, but also digital maps that are used by many businesses today.
  • Geographers are flexible. They recognise that the world is changing rapidly and can adapt to new ideas and new situations.

For further information see

Mr A Lovesey




Geography Year 9 KS3 assessment criteria