Overview

Geography develops a wide-range of skills as well as subject knowledge and this is why Geography is designated a ‘facilitating’ subject by universities, that is, one of the A Levels they prefer students to have done for entry on to a large number of degree courses.

You will develop Geographical skills which include research design, fieldwork and data recording, observational skills, map-work and cartography, effective presentation & communication skills, and graphical and statistical analysis. Contemporary Geographical research uses a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches. You will have ample opportunity to develop these skills during practical enquiries and four compulsory fieldwork days. Fieldwork is conducted in a range of locations including North Yorkshire.

We follow the AQA GCE specification. In Year 12 we study the water and carbon cycles, coastal systems and landscapes, changing places and hazards.

In Year 13 we complete our study of hazards and then move on to global systems and global governance before completing the course by studying resource security.

You will complete a non-examined independent investigation (3000-4000 words long) worth 20% of the A Level marks. This is an opportunity for you to show off your mastery of research skills & primary data collection and to investigate a topic of particular interest to you in more depth. The independent investigation will be started during the Summer term of Year 12 and be completed by the end of the Autumn term in Year 13.

Entry Requirements

General Entry Requirements:
A Level programmes require a minimum of 2 GCSEs at grade 6 and 3 GCSEs at grade 5.

Subject Specific Requirements:
English Language grade 5, Mathematics grade 5. Science grade 5 and Additional Science or Additional Applied Science at grade 5. Geography grade 5 if taken.

How will I be assessed?

A Level Geography will be assessed by end of Year 13 examinations. Paper 1 (worth 40%) examines the Physical Geography topics and Paper 2 (worth 40%) examines the Human Geography topics. The A Level will also require completion of an individual research project worth 20% of the A Level grade.

The 2016 AQA specification requires the compulsory completion of fieldwork. It is compulsory to do a minimum on two days human geography and two days physical geography fieldwork. The fieldwork requirements will be met through a combination of one-day visits and residential fieldwork options.

Where does it lead?

There is a wide-range of careers that studying Geography can lead to.

Increasingly, highly skilled professionals are employed in the growing areas of remote sensing and surveying, or as Geographical Information Systems analysts. There are specific, industry accredited degrees and career pathways for such professionals; students wishing to follow these pathways should also take Maths with Geography at GCSE.

Geography combines well with most subjects and is recognised by universities as a valid and useful A Level, whether you apply for science or arts degrees. Consequently, many Geography graduates work in industries as diverse as accountancy, teaching, law, logistics, political advisors, data analysts, retail management, oceanography or surveying. It is possible to combine Geography with a wide-range of subjects at degree level e.g. joint honours in Geography and Psychology, Ecology, Geology, Law, Business Management, History, Economics, Biology, Environmental Science and so forth.

Professional geographers are employed in various fields including cartography, town planning, resource management, conservation, hydrology, water resource management, pollution monitoring and control, forestry, soil science, hazard mitigation and management, urban regeneration, travel and tourism and flood prevention.

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