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Geography A Level at Shirley High School Performing Arts College

Course description

Geography at A Level explores the key principles, concepts and processes that explain geographical phenomena and landscapes. It maintains the balance between physical and human geography while ensuring relevance to the modern world. It provides an excellent foundation for those learners wishing to go on to study geography at degree level. Topics are explored in depth using individual research and investigation techniques. The topics taught have relevance to the modern world and our day to day lives. Opportunities for field work exist.

“Without Geography you are nowhere” Michael Palin

Course content

Over the course of the A-level we cover a selection from:

Physical geography

1. Water and carbon cycles
2. Hot desert systems and landscapes
3. Coastal systems and landscapes
4. Glacial systems and landscapes
5. Hazards
6. Ecosystems under stress

Human geography

7. Global systems and global governance
8. Changing places
9. Contemporary urban environments
10. Population and the environment
11. Resource security

Geography fieldwork investigation & Geographical skills

Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

Entry requirements

A genuine love of geography and geographical issues and an inquiring mind.

When qualifying to study A level subjects we will accept a ‘5’ as the equivalent grade for the new GCSE 1-9 measure for English and Maths. Most A level courses require a ‘B’ which is the equivalent of a ‘6’. BTEC Level 2 qualifications will only be counted in place of one GCSE subject. This is because they are not considered to have the required breadth of study necessary for the demands of a varied combination of A level subjects.


The Physical and Human elements are EACH assessed by written exams, both are:

  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A-level
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response and extended prose

Geography fieldwork investigation:

  • Students complete an individual investigation of 3,000 – 4,000 words
  • 60 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • Marked by teachers
  • Moderated by AQA

Future opportunities

Geography A Level provides a great basis for future studies, providing a good foundation for a variety of Arts and Science degrees.

Career paths include: Environmental management, foreign or travel correspondent / journalism, petrochemical industry, energy industry, Antarctic survey research, cartography and mapping, GIS base careers, law, education, urban planning, quantity surveying.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Shirley High School Performing Arts College directly.

Last updated date: 21 November 2017
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