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Geography Level 3 - AS Level/A Level at Exeter College

Course description

Geography provokes and answers questions about natural and human environments. The subject provides an excellent means for investigating contemporary issues at both global and local scales, ranging from coastal management strategies to inner city urban rebranding. Geography is also concerned with synoptic links between these environments; a key focus is combining knowledge to address some of the key issues of today, such as global climate change and population management.

You will learn through teacher-led study and enquiry is supplemented with your own work. Lessons will include practical as well as written work. You will be encouraged to use computers and there will be opportunities for fieldwork during the course. You will take four exam papers, two of which are field work and skills based.

Course content

At AS Level, you will study the core human and physical modules. In each area of study you will consider the values and attitudes of decision makers, consider your own values and attitudes to the issues being studied and support your learning of ideas through the study of specific case studies. You will also develop a variety of geographical skills, which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge and be employed with a greater degree of independence. You will study the core and then select at least one of the physical options and at least one of the human options.

Unit 1: Physical and Human Geography Core physical section: Rivers, floods and management. Optional physical topics: Cold environments, Coastal environments, Hot desert environments and their margins. Core human section: Population change. Optional human topics: Food supply issues, Energy issues, Health issues. You must study both core topics and at least one other physical and one other human option.
Unit 2: Geographical skills:  A geographical skills paper based on the AS content. Skills include: investigative, cartographic, graphical, ICT and statistical skills.

At A Level, you will continue to study a combination of human and physical geography with an issues-based approach to contemporary geographical themes. You will also undertake research and data collection in the field to prepare you for an issue evaluation exam paper. You must study three topics: at least one from the physical options and at least one from the human options.

Unit 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues Optional physical topics: Plate tectonics and associated hazards, Weather and climate and associated hazards, Ecosystems: change and challenge. Optional Human topics: World cities, Development and globalisation, Contemporary conflicts and challenges
Unit 4: Issue evaluation. This unit gives you the opportunity to extend an area of the subject content into a more detailed study. You will analyse and evaluate a contemporary geographical issue, such as the building of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil, the causes and consequences of the Christchurch earthquake, or flooding in the town of Morpeth. This paper will also assess your geographical skills. 

Entry requirements

You need at least five GCSEs at Grade C  or above including English Language and Maths at C or above. It is desirable, but not essential, to have studied GCSE Geography.

Future opportunities

A-level Geography is an excellent preparation for HE in arts, humanities and science disciplines. Geographers move into areas such as environmental studies, town planning and the business world. Employers realise the value of Geography, as the breadth and contemporary nature of its subject material and range of analytical techniques provide an attractive combination of literacy, numeracy and computer literacy as well as more general presentational, problem-solving and communication skills.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Exeter College directly.

Last updated date: 01 February 2016
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