Accessibility links

Geography A Level at Samuel Whitbread Academy

Course description

At A level we follow the Edexcel course. It covers 8 key topics, split between year 1 & year 2.

Year 1

• Topic 1 – Tectonic Processes and Hazards

• Topic 2B – Coastal Landscapes and Change

• Topic 3 – Globalisation

• Topic 4B – Diverse Places

Year 2

• Topic 5 – The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity

• Topic 6 – The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

• Topic 7 – Superpowers

• Topic 8B – Migration, Identity and Sovereignty


This splits in to three exams at the end of year 2.

Paper 1 covers the physical topics – 1, 2B, 5, 6; paper 2 covers the human topics – 3, 4B, 7, 8B. A third paper links the above topics together requiring students to use a resource booklet to answer questions about a geographical issue. Three synoptic themes are studied in this paper (Players, Attitudes & Actions and Futures & Uncertainties).

Students are also required to complete an Independent Investigation of between 4000-5000 words involving one of the topics covered, using fieldwork to facilitate this.


Course content

Key Features

A wide variety of learning opportunities, including problem solving exercises, data collection, statistical analysis, field work enquiry, note taking from video, texts and class discussions, essay and report writing, and presentations.

There is a compulsory element of completing at least 4 days of fieldwork, which will be covered in a residential course (currently using a field centre based in South Wales), not only to develop fieldwork skills but also to provide opportunity to collect data for the independent investigation. Other day trips in the past have also included London Docklands, along with local visits to Ashwell, Letchworth, and Fairfield Park. An enrichment trip is also offered at the end of year 12, last summer we visited Iceland, the year before was a trip to the Bay of Naples, Italy.

Entry requirements

• APS 4.5

• Grade 5 in GCSE Geography

• Grade 5 in GCSE Maths (discussion with department if a grade 4 is achieved)

• Grade 5 in GCSE Language or Literature


• 80% external examination

• 20% independent investigation

Future opportunities

Geography is one of the few subjects which successfully spans all academic boundaries. It can be studied in the Arts or Science faculties of most universities, depending on the combination of A levels taken. It offers opportunities to progress to vocational courses such as Environmental Science, Geographical Information Systems, Leisure and Recreation, Urban Planning, or Landscape Architecture. Related careers are available in government departments, resource control (water supply, energy, or forestry for instance), urban and rural planning, meteorology, transport and communications, tourism, retail management, education, marketing, and population and development issues.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Samuel Whitbread Academy directly.

Last updated date: 14 December 2017
Provider logo

Key information