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Geography A-Level at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College

Course description

Geography has come a long way from the study of rice farming and learning names of capital cities which is what our grandparents did. It is a subject which actively seeks to observe and analyse the relationships between people and the world in which they live.

The AS units cover aspects of both human and physical geography, at a variety of scales. Some topics are extended from GCSE level, but there is also an opportunity to study new topic areas.

  • Human Geography – Topics cover Urban and Rural settlement and Tourism.
  • Physical Geography – Topics cover Glaciation, Coastal Environments and Rivers.

Geographical skills are an important aspect of the understanding of the subject. These involve techniques of data collection, presentation and analysis. These are incorporated into the teaching throughout the course.

At A2, Geography develops extended writing skills on topics which integrate both human and physical aspects of the subject. Evaluative skills become more important in both essay work and in skills development.

The nature of modern geography is very diverse and covers topical themes which engage most students. Seldom does a day go by without reference to environmental and social issues in the media. These can be as diverse as global warming, deprivation in our cities, the effects of natural disasters, or the problems of Less Developed Countries. As a result, we like our students to be interested in following the news on TV or in the papers.

Course content

The AS modules cover a range of topics which are both Physical and Human in content. In addition, geographical skills are taught.

AS Managing Physical Environment

  • Cold Environments
  • River Environments
  • Coastal Environments

AS Managing Human Environments

  • Managing Urban Change
  • The Growth of Tourism
  • Managing Rural Change

The following topics will be taught for A2:

A2 Global Issues

  • Earth Hazards and Climate Hazards
  • Population and Resources
How it is taught

The AS course is highly structured and students are expected to back up classroom work with reading from their textbook. In class the students usually carry out individual or small group activities within the lesson. The skills are taught within the course content at appropriate places. Assessment is through structured questions and extended writing.

At A2 students are expected to write essay answers to examination questions and develop these skills with essay assignments where extended reading is required. Residential fieldwork is undertaken in the Lake District to underpin course content, with an emphasis on data collection skills. This allows students to develop the geographical skills of statistical analysis and data presentation which are taught alongside the topics in the course.

Entry requirements

The usual entry requirement to QE is 5 GCSE grades at C or above including Maths or English. A good number of students study four AS Levels in their first year and to do this we require at least 3B grades and 3C grades at GCSE including Maths and English Language. Students who do not achieve these GCSE grades take fewer subjects at A Level and will be required to do resits in GCSE Maths and English if they have not already achieved a grade C in these core subjects. The College is large enough to have a very flexible timetable that allows students to take almost any combination of subjects at A Level. The advantage of this system is that we can tailor your programme to suit your needs and abilities. We give lots of advice if you decide to apply to the College.

Subject Specific

It is preferred that Geography students have at least a grade C in Geography though occasionally students study Geography without having studied it at GCSE. In this case we would look at the full range of student achievement at GCSE in other subjects.



Managing Human Environments

1½ hours 1st Year May


Managing Physical Environments

1½ hours 1st Year May


Geographical Skills

1½ hours 2nd Year June


Global Issues

2½ hours 2nd Year June


Future opportunities

The skills which geographers acquire are greatly valued in the workplace and in education. Many universities are happy to accept Geography as a supporting subject, whatever the course applied for. Geography degree courses are available at all types of university and students can specialise in aspects of the subject which interest them. For example GIS (Geographical Information Systems) is an area where students use ICT skills to present information and images in a digitised form. There are obvious links with Town Planning, Transport management, Social Policy, but geographers are just as likely to become accountants!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 17 April 2015
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