By studying Geography you will develop an understanding of the human and physical world in which we live and spend time unpicking the debates surrounding contemporary challenges facing the world today. Studying geography at A-level also enables you to develop a range of transferable skills, essential for Higher Education and the world of work.

Paper 1 focuses on Landscape Systems and the main topics covered are Coasts and the Carbon and Water Cycles. Students will develop an understanding of how coastal landscapes can be viewed as systems, the key coastal processes and landforms, and how human activities are influencing coastlines. The rainforest and the Arctic tundra will be studied to learn about the carbon and water cycles operating in these locations, how humans are impacting on these regions and how we can manage them. This component is 22% of the A-level.

Paper 2 focuses on Human Interactions and the main topics covered are Changing spaces; making places, Global Migration and Human Rights. This gives students the opportunity to explore social inequality within the UK and the wider world, the change in urban areas such as Birmingham, the reasons for migration and its impacts, the issues surrounding women’s rights worldwide and the strategies for global governance of human rights. This component is 22% of the A-level.

Paper 3 focuses on Geographical debates. The two topics studied are Disease dilemmas and Hazardous earth. Students consider the different factors which contribute to communicable and non-communicable diseases and which strategies can be used to manage them most effectively. In the hazards topic earthquakes and volcanoes are studied to learn about the impacts of these types of events and appropriate management strategies. This component is 36% of the A-level.

As part of the A-level geography course you will also complete an independent investigation on a topic of your choice. This is worth 20% of the A-level.
Fieldwork is an integral part of the geography curriculum allowing pupils to see in reality what they have learnt in the classroom, build teamwork skills and learn valuable data-collection techniques.

In Year 12 one fieldwork day takes students to Liverpool to study rebranding and a second fieldwork day takes students to North Wales to study coastal landforms and coastal processes. There will be a cost of approximately £35 for the coasts trip and £15 for the Liverpool trip. In year 13 time is spent conducting two days of independent fieldwork on a topic of your choice in a location of your choice.

The A-level Geography course is challenging. It’s advisable that you have a minimum of a level 6 (B grade) at GCSE, although candidates who have not studied the subject at GCSE level can still consider Geography at A-level. High levels of literacy are essential for this course.

Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future.

Michael Palin