(Exam Board: Edexcel)
Mr T Murray
What do I need?
It is not necessarily a requirement that you should have studied Geography at GCSE in order to take an AS level or A-level course in the subject, although inevitably most students will have done. Several topics covered in the course are developments of work covered at GCSE, but others are new. What is more important is that you should have a lively and enquiring mind, an interest in the environment and current affairs, a willingness to explore new ideas and an ability to communicate your ideas effectively.
Those students who have studied GCSE Geography will find that the material and the skills they have learned will prove a valuable foundation for further studies at this level. If you have studied Geography at GCSE you should have achieved at least grade C. Usually students have grades A*-B
This course will appeal to those students who: -
• Have an interest in and concern for the environment
• Are interested in current affairs
• Enjoy studying a subject that is relevant to their own lives and experiences
• Want the opportunity to carry out practical work outdoors as well as classwork
• Enjoy independent learning and research, as well as whole class teaching, and group work.
• Want to broaden their AS or A-level studies to cover both ‘sciences’ and ‘humanities’
• Enjoy travel and finding out about new people, places, landscapes and events
• Want to keep their options open – Geography AS or A-level is an appropriate qualification for a very wide range of higher education or career choices.
During Y12 all students will go on a residential fieldwork visit to the Lake District. The field course provides the opportunity to study several aspects of the AS and A2 courses using real world examples. It also provides the essential fieldwork experience required for the Geographical Investigation examination. In recent years we have also been able to offer students the option of participation in overseas field study visits to locations such as Iceland, The Amalfi Coast, and Sicily.
What will I learn?
• What are the forces influencing our natural environment – the landscapes, the plants and animals and the weather and climate?
• What are the issues affecting people and the places where they live? How are cities and the countryside changing? Why are they changing?
• How are people affecting the environment we all live in? What are the opportunities, the challenges and the constraints?
• What are the economic forces that drive the world economy and how they are changing?
• What decisions are being made about the use and management of resources and who makes these decisions?
• An appreciation of current events and world problems such as the effects of natural hazards and the plight of refugees
• How to plan a fieldwork investigation. The collection of primary and secondary data and how to analyse it in a variety of forms for a coursework investigation
• Develop the ability to make links and connections across a wide variety of topics
• Gain experience of all six key skills
How will I be assessed?
Edexcel GCE Geography
AS unit 1: Global Challenges.
Topic 1: The World at Risk.
Topic 2: Going Global.
Assessment. 1hour and 30 minute examination in two sections.
AS unit 2: Geographical investigation.
A closer look at how physical and human issues influence lives.
Students chose one physical and one human option.
Topic 1: Extreme weather.
Topic 2: Crowded coasts.
Assessment. 1 hour 15 minute examination in two sections.
A2 Unit 3 Contested Planet.
Six compulsory topics.
1. Energy security.
2. Water Conflicts.
3. Biodiversity Under threat.
4. Superpower Geographies.
5. Bridging the Development Gap.
6. The Technological Fix.
Assessment. 2 hour and 30 minute exam in two sections.
A2 Unit 4: Geographical Research.
Students study one of the following research options:
1. Tectonic Activity.
2. Cold Environments.
3. Life on the margins.
4. The world of cultural diversity.
5. Pollution and human health risk.
6. Consuming the rural landscape.
Assessed by 1 hour 30 minute examination.
Is there anything else I need to know?
If you have studied Geography you will have the following advantages: -
• You will have developed skills such as using maps, photographs and diagrams, explaining your ideas clearly to others.
• You will be aware of events around you and appreciate that people have different views and there are different solutions to issues.
Career options with Geography include jobs which involve: -
• Using maps and data
• Knowing about the environment
• Making decisions about location
• Sustainable management of resources and environments
• Working with people
• Air traffic controller, archaeologist, architect, cartographer, civil engineer, conservationist, estate agent, environmentalist, farm worker, financial adviser, foreign correspondent, geologist, geophysicist, GIS technician, graphic designer, holiday rep, hotel manager, hydrologist, landscaper, meteorologist, outdoor pursuits supervisor, peacekeeper, planner, social worker, surveyor, taxi driver, teacher, transport manager, translator and travel agent.
For further information about why Geography is a sound career choice and to read biographies of geographers, visit the Geographical Association website, which includes a link to The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) website. Also ask your Geography teacher.