Geography

Qualification: 
A / AS Level
Duration: 
2 years
Level: 
3

What is Geography?

Geography is a demanding, yet exciting subject dealing with matters that concern each and every one of us. Prepare to work diligently over the two years to secure high grades. It will involve you understanding the relationship between people, places and the environment. There is an emphasis and expectation on students taking responsibility in developing the topics further.

Geography has the advantage of being a science and an art. It raises concerns, which might be considered part of social sciences, yet it has a scientific slant. The emphasis is on managing Physical and Human Environments. Field investigations are an essential part of the course.

The A2 course progresses on to Global Issues covering optional topics related to the Environment (Hazards) and Economic issues (Population, Globalisation and Development). There is an opportunity for a further Geographical Investigation of your choice which will be externally tested.

Is Geography suitable for me?

The subject is suitable for someone who has a genuine interest in global issues at all levels from local to international. You need to have a willingness to understand how the natural world ‘works’ and what part we, as individuals, play in this global closed system!

Below are some students’ comments on the course:

"I love geography because we can change the world for the good." Amy Wood

"Geography is everything that matters." Katie Whicher

"Where would we be without Geography?" Tom Cox

How will I learn?

The course is carefully structured and with time you will be given more responsibility for managing your learning. There is every opportunity for students to develop the topics in great depth. In Physical Geography there is a great deal to understand which will require taking notes and writing essays. There will be a need to interpret maps and data.

In Human Geography there will be learning through discussions, topics to explore and classroom presentations to prepare. Staff support your quest to learn at every stage.

You will be expected to play your part by working 4/5 hours per week outside of classroom teaching. There is considerable research work to be done, especially at A2 and you will be expected to use books, the internet and college computing resources to do this.

Fieldwork

At AS Level there will be several visits to investigate the local Physical and Human aspects of the subject. A visit to Hayling Island and another one to East London will encourage you to set yourself realistic goals for successful enquiries for your own chosen areas of study.

At A2 Level there will be a residential trip to a Field Study Council Centre in Pembroke, North Wales or Juniper Hall in the Surrey Hills. This enables students to carry out a detailed, evaluative investigation which will be used to answer essay questions in the A2 Geographical Skills paper.

There may arise optional opportunities to carry out fieldwork on residential trips.

How will I be assessed?

You will have 2 examinations in both years:

AS Level:

  • Managing Physical Environment (Coasts or Rivers and Hot Environments) AS - 50% (25% of A Level) 1.5 hours written paper.
  • Managing Change in Human Environment (Urban or Rural Change and Growth of Tourism) AS - 50% (25% of A Level) 1.5 hours written paper.

A2 Level:

  • Global Issues (Environmental and Economic Issues) synoptic paper 30% of A Level 2 hours written paper.
  • Geographical Skills synoptic paper 20% of A Level 1.5 hours written paper, partly based on candidates’ own investigation/research.

Progression

Many geographers study geography or related subjects at university. It is also a subject accepted to gain entry into the world of business, science, and technology and beyond! Geography opens up a wide range of job opportunities, e.g. travel writer, diplomat, disaster manager, regional developer, surveyor, civil engineer, etc. We have students who have progressed to Oxbridge, studied Geography to doctorate level and enjoyed Earth Sciences courses.

Entry requirements

Students studying a 3 or 4 AS level programme should normally have achieved an average GCSE point score of 5.5 or above and at least a grade C in Maths and/or English (unless specified otherwise). Students with a point score between 4.5 – 5.5 will normally take a mixture of Subsidiary Diplomas and AS levels. You can check your likely GCSE point score by going to 'Choosing the Right Course' on the website and entering your predicted grades.

We would expect students to have taken either Geography or another humanity at GCSE Level.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbook, stationery, computer disks and calculators (where appropriate). Any further costs are outlined below:

Essential: textbook and course booklets £50 (AS £25; A2 £25)

AS Fieldwork: £25
A2 Fieldwork: £25

Proposed Optional Residential Field Trips (approximate)

Field study council residential trip to Pembroke or Juniper Hall: £295
Various day trip to conferences in London: £25, excluding travel.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Course Code

OCRH083/H483