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Geography A Level at Appleby Grammar School

Course description

Geography is a very popular and successful subject. Students will study both physical and human geography and acquire a wide variety of transferable skills. Students will learn in many ways, such as by using ICT, maps, data analysis, photos, videos, GIS and independent research. Fieldwork is an integral part of the A-level course and a minimum of four days will be completed. Previous fieldwork has included visits to Borrowdale to study glacial landforms, Keswick and Grasmere to investigate regeneration strategies, and Blencathra to study rivers.

Course content

Paper 1 – Physical Geography 

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Glaciated Landscapes and Change
  • The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Paper 2 – Human Geography 

  • Globalisation
  • Regenerating Places
  • Superpowers
  • Migration, Identity and Sovereignty

Paper 3 – Synoptic paper

  • This paper will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context. It is rooted around content from Paper 1 and/or Paper 2 and is linked to three synoptic themes (Players, Attitudes and actions; Futures and uncertainties).

Coursework – Independent Investigation

  • The student must define a question or issue for investigation, relating to the course content.
  • The student must then collect fieldwork data and conduct their own independent research to produce an investigation report which will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing.
  • 3000-4000 words.


Compulsory minimum four days fieldwork including both physical and human geography.

Geographical Skills

  • Understand the nature and use of different types of geographical information
  • Collect, analyse and interpret information
  • Undertake informed and critical questioning of data and methodologies 
  • Communicate and evaluate findings
  • Develop quantitative and qualitative data skills, including graphical, cartographical and statistical skills

Entry requirements

Students should have achieved Grade B at GCSE Geography and sat the higher tier papers. Students must be willing to work hard to obtain the best results. Students should read around the subject through newspapers/magazines, the internet and TV news and documentaries to keep on top of current geographical issues.


Paper 1 – Physical Geography 2hr 15 mins (30% of A-level)

Paper 2 – Human Geography 2hr 15 mins (30% of A-level)

Paper 3 – Synoptic paper 2hr 15 mins (20% of A-level)

Coursework – Independent Investigation (20% of A-level)

Future opportunities

Geography is highly valued by universities and employers and is classed as a facilitating subject. Geography opens up a wide variety of career opportunities due to the skills acquired, including environmental management and urban planning, finance and banking, law, marketing, education, government, tourism and GIS to name a few!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Appleby Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 29 March 2017
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