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Geography A-Level at Ranelagh School

Course description

The course exploits the geographer’s natural curiosity and concern about major contemporary issues. It is geography’s ability to integrate the study of the Earth’s places, peoples, environments and societies that makes it so relevant to the understanding of the increasingly inter-connected world in which we all live and work.

When studying the course, students have the opportunity to develop their skills in communication, data analysis, information technology, problem solving and working with others. They will undertake informed and critical questioning of data sources and learn how to communicate and evaluate their findings. Students’ literacy and numeracy will be developed during the course.

Course content

At  A Level, students will study both human and physical geography units of work, focusing on the interactions both within and between societies, economies, cultures and environments at a variety of scales. They will be taught to recognise the challenges of sustainability and the implications for their own and others’ lives. Fieldwork, involving both the individual and the group, is an important element of the course and all students attend a residential field trip which costs in the region of £250.


Physical geography

  • Water and carbon cycles
  • Coastal systems and landscapes
  • Hazards

Human Geography

Global systems and global governance

  • Changing places
  • Contemporary urban environments


  • Individual investigation which must include data collected in the field
  • Based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student as guided by his/her teacher



Entry requirements

Prospective students are expected to achieve grade B or above in GCSE Geography. It is not usually advisable for students who have not studied the subject at GCSE to opt for it at A Level, but candidates may be considered. In such cases, the student is advised to consult the Curriculum Leader.


Physical Geography - 40% of A level - written exam 2 hrs 30 mins - questions are a mix of multiple choice, short answer, levels of response and extended prose

Human Geography - 40% of A level - written exam 2 hrs 30 mins - questions are a mix of multiple choice, short answer, levels of response and extended prose

Coursework - 20% of A level - 3000-4000 words

Future opportunities

Geography is recognised by Oxford, Cambridge and other leading universities as a challenging academic discipline. It is listed by the Russell Group Informed Choices document as a facilitating subject, valued by admissions tutors for its contribution to preparation for university study.  Geography is accepted by universities as an entrance qualification for both science and arts courses, as well as for vocational courses such as Law, Medicine and Veterinary Science. The skills and knowledge gained through Geography A Level are useful in careers such as financial services, computing, planning and environment consultancy and teaching but many employers recognise the skills a good geographer has and Geography graduates are very employable.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 04 January 2017

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