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Geography A level **FEES PAYABLE** at Marlborough College

Course description

Geography is the integrated study of the Earth’s places, peoples, environments and societies and provides a bridge between the Social Sciences and Earth Sciences.

Geography complements most A-level choices and brings together skills and content from Arts, Science and Social Science subjects. It is a broad subject with an emphasis on linkage and synthesis; the geographer is trained to examine issues and problems by bringing together diverse materials with vision, thought and imagination. 

Course content

Examination: 40% A Level, 2 ½ hr paper

4 short answers 40%, essay 30%, stimulus response 25%, multiple choice 5%.

Coastal systems and landscapes (11%) - Landscape development and coastal management will be emphasised. The influence of man, climate change and land and sea level changes will be explored. Management of the Christchurch Bay area of the South Coast and exploitation and development of an overseas coastal location will be considered.

Water and carbon cycles (11%) - This will include the study of stores and flows at local and global scales and the water balance and carbon budget over a variety of scales. The links to man and to climate will also be explored. A tropical rainforest area and river catchment area will provide two case studies for further exploration of the nature and importance of these cycles.

Hazards (18%) - Volcanic, seismic and storm hazards and management will be explored. A multihazardous environment overseas will be investigated along with a variety of individual hazard events. IGCSE case studies will not be repeated.


Examination: 40% A Level, 2 ½ hr Paper

4 short answers 40%, essay 30%, stimulus response 25%, multiple choice 5%.

Global systems and global governance (11%) - Transnational corporations, emerging economies such as China and India, the European Union, trading blocs, developing technologies, patterns of inequality with reference to some of the world’s poorest countries, outsourcing and fair trade are included themes. There will be a special study of threats and protection relating to Antarctica.

Changing places (11%) - The concept of place and the importance of place in human life and experience are explored; the sense, perception and communication of place are considered. Marlborough and Bath as local places will be contrasted to chosen distant places such as Shanghai, Bhutan and Amazonia. Music, images, data, art, culture, community and change are all considered in this study of place.

Population and the environment (18%) - Natural and migration change, age and sex structures, health and well being, ecological footprints, demographic dividends and managing population futures are all included. Important topical issues are international migration, the balance between population and resources and wealth vs quality of life e.g. as indicated by GNH Gross National Happiness.


Personal Fieldwork Investigation 20% A Level

A South Coast residential field trip will allow for a choice between physical or human data collection. A question or issue is developed by the pupil with teacher advice and guidance, group data collection is permitted but the write-up must then be the individual work of the student. There will be recommended themes and locations. A generous L6 period of time is set aside for this work; early completion of this unit leaves only the two final exam papers to complete in the U6. Pupils with the academic ambition, independence and interest to do so are invited to set up a study with their set beaks and to collect their own data anywhere in the world in the Easter L6 break.

Originality and imagination are rewarded.

Further information

The Department has a dynamic tradition of running inspiring and stimulating expeditions abroad exploring geographical and cultural diversity.  Expedition destinations since 2002 have included China, Cuba, Myanmar, Eastern Turkey, the Sinai Desert, Jordan and Sri Lanka. Trips to Namibia, Peru and Ladakh have been run jointly with other Departments. Trips have a combination of cultural, outward bound and nature based objectives. All trips emphasise the development of life skills including initiative, self-reliance and leadership.

The Geography Society has a number of events each year, many of which bring in outside speakers.  We invite speakers (both pupils and adults) to present academic encounters and to inspire an interest in nature, adventure and travel.  Information technology has a high profile in our subject.  The digital revolution provides significant exposure to powerful and inspiring software, rewarding internet research and to infographical design opportunities through both project report publication and individual and team presentations.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 18 November 2016
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