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Geography (A Level) at Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18

Course description

This qualification is engaging and relevant to today’s geographers – a qualification that enables students to engage critically with real world issues and places, apply their own geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to make sense of the world around them, and to help prepare them to succeed in their chosen pathway.

Course content


Course content

The course has 4 exams. Papers 1 and 2 examine content covered in the below topics

● Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards

An in-depth understanding of the causes of tectonic hazards is key to both increasing the degree to which they can be managed, and putting in place successful responses that can mitigate social and economic impacts and allow humans to adapt to hazard occurrence.


● Topic 2: Glaciated Landscapes and Change

Ice sheets and glaciers operate within a landscape system as glacial processes of erosion, transport and deposition combine with meteorological and climatological processes and interact with geological and lithological processes to produce distinctive landscapes. The landscapes can be both present day and relict and can occur in both upland and lowland areas. These landscapes are being changed by both physical processes and human activities which pose unique threats due to the low level of resilience found in these areas.


● Topic 3: Globalisation

Globalisation and global interdependence continue to accelerate, resulting in changing opportunities for businesses and people. Inequalities are caused within and between countries as shifts in patterns of wealth occur. Cultural impacts on the identity of communities increase as flows of ideas, people and goods take place. Recognising that both tensions in communities and pressures on environments are likely, will help players implement sustainable solutions.


● Topic 4: Regenerating Places

Urban and rural regeneration programmes involving a range of players involve both place making (regeneration) and place marketing (rebranding). Regeneration programmes impact variably on people both in terms of their lived experience of change and their perception and attachment to places. The relative success of regeneration and rebranding for individuals and groups depends on the extent to which lived experience, perceptions, and attachments to places are changed.


● Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity

Water plays a key role in supporting life on earth. The water cycle operates at a variety of spatial scales and also at short- and long-term timescales, from global to local. Physical processes control the circulation of water between the stores on land, in the oceans, in the cryosphere, and the atmosphere. Changes to the most important stores of water are a result of both physical and human processes. Water insecurity is becoming a global issue with serious consequences and there is a range of different approaches to managing water supply.


● Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Changes to the most important stores of carbon and carbon fluxes are a result of physical and human processes. Reliance on fossil fuels has caused significant changes to carbon stores and contributed to climate change resulting from anthropogenic carbon emissions. The water and carbon cycles and the role of feedbacks in and between the two cycles, provide a context for developing an understanding of climate change. Anthropogenic climate change poses a serious threat to the health of the planet. There is a range of adaptation and mitigation strategies that could be used, but for them to be successful they require global agreements as well as national actions.


● Topic 7: Superpowers

Superpowers can be developed by a number of characteristics. The pattern of dominance has changed over time. Superpowers and emerging superpowers have a very significant impact on the global economy, global politics and the environment. The spheres of influence between these powers are frequently contested, resulting in geopolitical implications.


● Topic 8: Global Development and Connections

Traditional definitions of development are based largely on economic measures but have been increasingly challenged by broader definitions based on environmental, social and political quality of life with many new measures used to record progress at all scales in human rights and human welfare. There are variations in the norms and laws of both national and global institutions that impact on decisions made at all scales, from local to global. These decisions lead to a wide range of geopolitical interventions via international and national policies, from development aid through to military campaigns.


Paper 3 examines players, attitudes and actions, futures and uncertainties

The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to the three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.

Coursework - Students define a question or issue for investigation, relating to the compulsory or optional content. The topic may relate to any aspect of geography contained within the specification




Entry requirements

General entry requirement:

Students should achieve GCSE grade 5 in English Language and Mathematics plus 3 further GCSE grades 9-4 (or grade C in non-reformed qualifications) AND meet the individual subject specific requirements.

Plus GCSE Grade 5 in Geography if taken



All exams will be taken at the end of year 13



Paper 1 – Physical Geography (Tectonic Processes and Hazards, Glaciation, The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity, The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Written examination: 2 hours - 30% of the qualification, 90 marks

Paper 2 – Human Geography (Globalisation: Shaping Places: Superpowers: Global Development and Connections)

Written examination: 2 hours - 30% of the qualification, 90 marks

Paper 3 - The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to the three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes -20% of the qualification, 60 marks

Paper 4 - Non-examined assessment (coursework) - 20% of the qualification, 60 marks

Future opportunities

Geography at A level is respected by universities and employers, as it enables students to develop investigative and problem-solving skills, as well as covering a wide range of topics using scientific and arts-based approaches which deal with the relationships between people and their environment.

Geography provides a challenging yet relevant and enjoyable course and can be used to apply for arts and science-based courses at University.

Further information

Content is framed by enquiry questions that encourage an investigative and evaluative approach to learning. Geographical skills and fieldwork are embedded in teaching.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Roundhay School All through education from 4 to 18 directly.

Last updated date: 08 November 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

Contact details