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Geography A level at Sharnbrook Academy

Course description

“Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future". Michael Palin

Geography has strong links with other subjects such as biology, maths, history, geology, environmental science, economics and business studies.  It develops a range of enquiry, scientific and analytical skills, and encourages more independent approaches to learning through your own research.

Geography is for YOU if you are interested in issues of current relevance and concern, like natural hazards, population growth, global warming, poverty, inequality and sustainable development.

Course content

Area of study 1: Dynamic Landscapes

  • Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change

Area of study 2: Dynamic Places

  • Topic 3: Globalisation
  • Topic 4: Shaping Places

Area of study 3: Physical Systems and Sustainability

  • Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Area of study 4: Human Systems and Geopolitics

  • Topic 7: Superpowers
  • Topic 8: Global Development and Connections

Entry requirements

All students must meet the minimum entry requirements which are:

  • a minimum of five GCSE passes at A* to C, plus mathematics and English language at level 4 or above.
  • ECDL or an equivalent IT course where studied. Please note that, where a student wishes to take at least one A level course and has level 2 BTEC qualifications, those level 2 BTEC qualifications can only count for up to a maximum of two of the required GCSE passes at A* to C, or mathematics and English language at level 4 or above.

In addition to the general entrance requirements, the department requires a grade C or better in geography, if taken. It is not compulsory to have taken GCSE geography and acceptance onto the course is, ultimately, at the discretion of the Geography Department.


Paper 1 (Paper code: 9GE0/01)

  • Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes,
  • 30% of the qualification = 105 marks
  • Topics 1, 2, 5, 6

Paper 2 (Paper code: 9GE0/02)

  • Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes,
  • 30% of the qualification = 105 marks
  • Topics 3, 4, 7, 8

Paper 3 (*Paper code: 9GE0/03)

  • Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes,
  • 20% of the qualification = 70 marks
  • The specification contains three synoptic themes within the compulsory content areas:
    • 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: Independent Investigation

The purpose of this coursework is to test students’ skills in independent investigation.

Students are required to undertake an independent investigation that involves (but which need not be restricted to) fieldwork. The focus of the investigation must be derived from the specification the student is studying. The guidance for word length is 3000-4000 words.

Student will define a question or issue relating to the compulsory or optional content. The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data. The student’s report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing.

Financial information

Field trips during the course:

  • Swanage (not compulsory, but encouraged as needed for paper 3 and coursework)
  • Manchester (not compulsory, but encouraged as needed paper 3 and coursework)
  • Iceland (bi-annual trip not compulsory)

In addition, there are a number of conferences and other excursions for which small charges are made. 

Geography Review Magazine (optional)

Future opportunities

Many students move on to higher education to do geography or related subjects.  Geography leads on to many career opportunities and is in demand in such areas as accountancy, marketing, tourism, agriculture, outdoor leisure, human resources, oceanography, travel, economics, environmental science, engineering, anthropology, development studies, earth studies and many, many more.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 27 October 2017

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