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Course Guide

Geography

(AQA 7037)

If you have a sense of discovery and enjoy studying a subject that is challenging, and both relevant and engaging, then this is the course for you. Geography has long been the subject that bridges the divide between the arts and sciences, making it one of the most valued A Levels in university applications for any academic field. It is essential to meeting the challenges of a fast-changing world in its embrace of environmental and current affairs.

What will you study?

During Year 12, the course comprises Water and carbon cycles, Coastal systems and landscapes, Contemporary urban environments, and Changing places. In Year 13, we continue with studies of Natural hazards, Global systems and global governance, and a fieldwork study. A range of research and fieldwork skills is examined in these units and is delivered throughout the topics covered and in a one-week residential fieldtrip to Devon & Dorset. These units allow in-depth research of climate change, water and energy security, superpower politics, human rights, and how London is changing as a world city.

How is it assessed?

A Level Geography is linear so assessment of student’s knowledge takes place at the end of the two years of study.

Component 1: Physical geography

Section A: Water and carbon cycles

Section B: Coastal systems and landscapes

Section C: Hazards

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes = 40% of A-level

Component 2: Human geography.

Section A: Global systems and global governance

Section B: Changing places

Section C: Contemporary urban environments.

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes = 40% of A-level.

Component 3: Geography fieldwork investigation

Report of 3,000 – 4,000 words.

60 marks = 20% of A-level.

Enrichment opportunities?

As a fieldwork report is an intrinsic part of the course, a residential trip to Dartmoor and the Isle of Purbeck (staying at well-equipped field-centres) will give students the opportunity to study hydrology, coastal environments and the impact on the landscape of climate change. This will enrich study of the specification as well as provide the basis for their Component 3 report, learning how to measure and test aspects of the environment, developing practical and analytical skills that are highly regarded by both universities and employers. We also conduct an extended project, that many students opt to follow, working with Royal Holloway (University of London) on a topic of each student’s choice. These have been very valuable in student UCAS applications for a whole range of subjects, not just geography. We also attend a range of evening lectures at London universities through our links with these establishments.

Where might it lead you?

Geography, with its analytical bridging of sciences and arts, prepares you for a very wide range of careers and adds some unique skills to a CV and application.

Typical destinations for geographers, from an extensive list, include:

  • the Civil Service
  • environmental consultancies and protection agencies
  • information systems organisations
  • public utility companies
  • Investment banking
  • law
  • meteorology/climatology
  • engineering
  • surveying

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