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Geography A-Level at Polam Hall School

Course description

Geography is a fascinating subject because it is about ourselves – it asks why we live how and where we do, and how we fit into our environment – plus, what happens when it goes wrong. Is this for you? Yes – if you enjoy learning about people and places and are fascinated by cultural differences, or wondered about globalisation and why there is a Starbucks on many High Streets? Yes – if you’re interested in the natural world – glaciers, rivers and volcanoes – and are concerned about the environment and its future.

The units of study allow candidates to consider their own roles, values and attitudes and also those of the decision makers in relation to the themes and issues being studied. The subject content takes an ‘Issues and Impacts’ approach and has been designed to allow progression through the course and beyond to link with the demands of higher level study. Concepts covered at GCSE may be revisited but not repeated in AS. Likewise, concepts covered in AS may be further developed but not repeated at A2.

Course content


This provides for a coherent and relevant programme of study in itself and also a substantial platform for progression towards successful completion of A2 Geography. It is divided into two sections – Physical and Human Geography.

Unit 1 forms the core and includes compulsory topics on rivers and flooding and global population change, together with the elected topics on coastal environments. Candidates answer four questions on the 2 hour paper, one on each topic.

Unit 2 – Applied Geography – is a 1hour paper with questions based on fieldwork, Ordnance Survey map work and geographical skills.

A three day residential fieldwork course is arranged during the Spring Term, currently based at the Cranedale Centre in the Yorkshire Wolds.


Unit 3 – Contemporary Geographical Issues – involves studying topics such as plate tectonics and associated hazards, weather and climate and associated hazards, world cities and globalisation. Students take a 2 ½ hour paper and answer three questions, one of which is an essay question.

Unit 4 consists of two parts.

Unit 4a is the Fieldwork Investigation which consists of structured short and extended questions based on fieldwork carried out at Cranedale.

Unit 4b is the Issues Evaluation paper which consists of structured short and extended questions based on an advance information booklet issued by AQA. Both papers are 1 ½ hours. It is anticipated that Unit 4a will be taken in January of the Upper Sixth Year and Units 3 and 4b will be taken in June at the end of the course.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for Advanced Level study is 6 A* - C grades. Students’ GCSEs must include Mathematics and English at least at Grade C. 4/3 subjects at AS level are usually studied in the first year.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Polam Hall School directly.

Last updated date: 22 April 2015
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