Exam Board: AQA
Entry Requirements: Grade 5 or above in GCSE English Language and, ideally, Grade 5 or above in GCSE Geography.
watch our video about geography a-level
Understanding and Improvement
Geography is about understanding the world we live in with the aim of improving the way we use it. We aim to understand the physical processes which shape and create our wonderful world. We want to understand how we use and shape our landscape and the impact this has on us and different people around the world. We can use this understanding to plan or modify our future use of the environment in a sustainable way which ensures people have the highest possible quality of life.
The course covers a very wide range of content, which is examined in considerable detail to develop a real depth of knowledge and understanding. The first year tends to focus on smaller scale often more localised issues which influence our lives. The second year tends to have a more global outlook addressing some of the big and thorny questions of today such as climate change and global inequality.
- Water and carbon cycles.
- Glacial systems and landscapes.
- Global systems and global governance.
- Changing places.
- Contemporary urban environments.
Geography fieldwork investigation (non examined assessment)
- 3-4,000 word geographical investigation based on primary and secondary data on a topic of the student’s choice.
Beyond the classroom
Past activities have included:
- Year 12 residential trip to the Lake District to investigate a glaciated landscape and develop fieldwork skills. Includes work in Keswick and Kelham Island, Sheffield.
- Year 12 coursework pilot study–data collection in Sheffield.
- 2016 winners of the Yorkshire & Humberside Shell Bright Ideas competition.
- Involved with the University of Sheffield ITT students, who have placements at Silverdale and organise activities, such as field workdays.
- Lectures at the University of Sheffield.
- Students are encouraged to attend the local branches of the Geography Association and the Royal Geographical Society.
You can read about why Geography A-level is soaring in popularity in this Guardian article.
Geography A-level is an enabling subject facilitating access to the Russell Group of universities. At degree level geography is an extremely diverse subject, including many things not offered in a school curriculum. Geography fits well with a range of other subjects for joint honours degrees, especially a language.
There are many other potential courses and careers which may follow on from Geography A-level. For example, law, journalism, teaching and lecturing, local and national government, travel and tourism, resource (heritage and landscape) management, conservation, overseas development and environmental services.