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Geography (GCE) at Shelley College

Course description

Why study Geography?

Geography is the study of Earth and how humans interact with it; it is considered by many universities (including the Russell Group universities) as a very desirable A Level and was identified as ‘the must have A Level’ by The Guardian in 2O15. Geography also combines well with both Arts and Sciences. The world is in a constant state of change and Geography is the subject that will help you predict and adapt to future changes in both the human and natural world. It is the subject that looks at major issues of the 21st Century such as changes in global governance and the conflicts it leads to, the changing nature of places, the impacts of climate change and the impacts of natural hazards. It is also a subject that fosters the innovative use of both teacher led and individual field work which assists the development of skills such as data analysis, team work, research skills and report writing.

Entry requirements

The aim of our entry criteria policy is to ensure students are taking courses they are well suited to and are able to make progress in. We seek to provide courses well matched to the needs of our students, helping them to follow their chosen progression pathway.

Due to changes in the curriculum set-up for GCSE, AS and A Level which are currently taking place, we have reviewed our entry criteria from 2018/19 onwards and will continue to review this annually until all curriculum changes are effective.

We have also decided that for the 2018/19 entry students, those with a 4 at English or Maths GCSE will be offered the opportunity to resit that subject in order to achieve a Level 5.

Our main College entry requirements are as follows;

Entry Requirements

A minimum of five 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from five different subject areas.

Purely vocational pathway require a minimum of four 4-9 grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (at least to Level 4) from four different subject areas.

A BTEC qualification may be counted as equivalent to two GCSE passes if students choose to follow a vocational pathway (i.e, OCR Cambridge National in Sport).


There will be three pathways which students can follow based on an average grade produced from their seven best GCSE results. The calculation being used for this van be seen overleaf.


Average Grade

Programme of study


Average grade of 7 or higher

3 or 4 A Levels


Average grade of 5 to 6.9

3 A Levels or a mixed A Level and Vocational pathway


Average grade of less than 5

Mixed (A Level and Vocational) or Vocational pathway


The method for calculating your average grade and additional subject requirements are within our full entry criteria document which can be found on the Sixth Form section of our website:



Unit 3: Contemporary

Geographical Issues

2.5 hours (30% of the total A Level marks).


Unit 4A: Geography Fieldwork

Investigation 1.5 hours

(20% of the total A Level marks).


The new specification allows for specialisation and

progression to higher education and employment. There is a more  natural progression from GCSE to GCE.


Students will be given opportunities to develop fieldwork skills and study geographical issues and impacts.

Fieldwork is compulsory and will include day trips or a

residential trip to a UK location.  Fieldwork will be used to generate ideas and collect primary data which will

prepare students for Unit 4A.


The new specification balances what most people would consider to be traditional geography with a more

contemporary and modern view of the discipline.


Key themes are the management of change and

sustainability as well as the understanding of conflicts.


Some of the topics that are studied in detail include

immigration to the UK, the environmental, social and

economic effects of where our food comes from and the

impact of extreme weather events and climate change.


The course is designed to encourage students to reflect on why they think the way they do about an issue as well as how others think; skills that are vital for citizens In the 21st Century.

Future opportunities

Most people think that Geography leads to teaching or a long career in academia in Universities or Colleges.

In reality, Geography graduates are amongst the most sought after in the workplace as their Degree has taught them numerous invaluable skills. e.g. analytical skills, problem solving, working with other people and creative skills.

Possible career routes include:

The media

Town planning

Travel and tourism

Environmental protection

Some other examples of Geography graduates include the greatest basketball player in history, one of Britain’s greatest Olympians and the second in line to the British throne.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 13 October 2017
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