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Geography AS/A Level at Helsby High School

Course description

Geography acts as a bridge between the Arts and Sciences bringing together and analysing information from a variety of sources and developing skills of communication, data collection and the use of various kinds of graphs and statistics.

In choosing Geography at Helsby, you would be joining a very enthusiastic and hardworking department in which you can expect to be taught by well qualified and experienced staff. As a member of this team you will be valued as an individual, whilst being challenged academically, allowing your real potential to emerge as a Geographer, both in the classroom and more importantly, in the field.

As a Geographer you will deal with issues that are central to society and the environment. At A level, all candidates will study core human and physical geography. In each area of study candidates will consider the values and attitudes of decision makers, consider their own values and attitudes to the issues being studied and support their learning of ideas through the study of specific case studies. Candidates will also develop a variety of geographical skills, which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge and help to support learning in other subject areas.

The Geography course asks questions and seeks solutions to problems and issues that affect us all. For example;

  • Can the world feed itself?
  • Are current population growth rates unsustainable?
  • What are the causes and effects of international migration?
  • Are GM crops the solution to global food shortages?
  • Is an ageing population a problem or an opportunity?
  • What are the causes of river flooding?
  • What are the soft and hard engineering approaches to flood prevention?
  • What are the causes of desertification?
  • Is nuclear power the solution to Britain’s growing energy demands?

The end result of studying human and physical geography is that you will have better understanding of how mankind and the earth work together. And it’s not all theory either. You’ll get the opportunity to visit places of geographic interest and to roll up your sleeves and participate in fieldwork.

Course content

What course units will I take at AS?

Unit 1 will cover:

  • Core physical module: Rivers, floods and management
  • Optional physical modules: cold environments, coastal environments and hot desert environments and their margins.
  • Core Human module: Global population change
  • Optional human modules: Food supply issues, energy issues and health issues.

Unit 2 will cover:

  • Basic, investigative, ICT, graphical, cartographical and statistical skills.
  • Research skills and the assessment of AS fieldwork.

Unit 1 is worth 70% of your AS mark and will consist of a 2 hours written examination paper sat in the summer term.

Unit 2 is worth 30% of your total AS mark and will consist of a 1 hour written examination paper. This paper will be sat at the end of the autumn term. Opportunities for resists will therefore be available in the summer term.

What course units will I take at A2?

Unit 3 will cover:

Physical options (choose at least one of these):

  • Plate tectonics and associated hazards.
  • Weather and climate and associated hazards
  • Challenges facing ecosystems

Human options (choose at least one of these):

  • World cities- evolution or revolution?
  • Development and globalisation
  • Contemporary conflicts and challenges

Unit 4b will cover:

  • The process of issue evaluation

Unit 3 is worth 30% of your total A level mark and will consist of a 2 hour written examination paper. This paper will be sat in the summer term.

Unit 4b is worth 20% of your total A level mark and will consist of a 1 and a half hour written examination paper. This paper will be sat in either the autumn or summer term.


Future opportunities

The study of Geography is highly regarded by Universities and employers. Universities and Colleges of Further Education recognise the academic rigour and skill development inherent within the discipline, and in particular, of its ability to nurture analytical, interpretive, evaluative, decision making and critical thinking skills. Geography is highly respected by employers and is particularly useful for students who wish to pursue a variety of professional career paths including; surveying, marketing, hydrology, planning, law, environmental management and administration.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 July 2016

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