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Geography AS & A Level at Brine Leas School

Course description

"There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. The rate at which the world's environment and society are changing, combined with growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, means that geography is one of the most relevant courses students can choose to study.”

A-level Geography offers a natural progression from GCSE. Our Geography course has a current and engaging content that appeals to students. Students look at contemporary and topical issues in order to consider their place in the world and how to create and manage a sustainable environment in the future. Geography graduates have become some of the most sought after graduates by employers. They are less likely to be unemployed after their degree course than those studying other subjects and, as the Labour Force Survey (a sample from 2010) reports, are above average in what they go on to earn.

Contemporary geography is a subject which engages with the relationship of human populations to each other over space and time and their relationship with their physical environment at a variety of scales from the local to global. The subject content follows an “issues and impacts” approach throughout. It has a developmental structure designed to facilitate progression through the course and beyond to link with the demands of higher level study. Concepts covered at GCSE may be revisited at AS, but not repeated. Concepts covered in AS may be further developed but not repeated at A2.

Course content

AS Level

  • Unit 1 Physical and Human Geography. In core physical, candidates’ subject knowledge and understanding in key environments is developed. The compulsory rivers, floods and management unit relates to environments familiar to most candidates and engages them in the study of the central role of water in landscape development and its management for human welfare purposes. Studying one other contrasting physical environment offers opportunities for examining distinctive sets of processes raising common themes of environmental impact, management, sustainability and citizenship. In core human, fundamentals of population in human geography are addressed with an emphasis on change and development over space and time and their geographical implications. One optional element is chosen to give candidates the opportunity to engage with key themes of contemporary relevance with an emphasis on human agency and welfare and sustainability. 
  • Unit 2 - Geographical Skills is specified and examined in such a way as to engage candidates with a range of basic and more sophisticated geographical skills appropriate to the AS specification content.

A Level

A2 Geography adopts an issues approach consistent with modern conceptions of the subject. Concepts, themes and skills covered in AS are extended and developed in A2 in different settings with an opportunity and expectation of higher levels of cognitive and empathetic engagement.

  • Unit 3 - Contemporary Geographical Issues involves the study of physical themes, including plate tectonics and weather related hazards, at a variety of scales, and engages candidates with notions of challenge for human populations. The human option of world cities similarly engages candidates with important contemporary themes at a range of scales and should resonate with either their direct or media experience
  • Unit 4B - Geographical Issue Evaluation casts candidates as active researchers and evaluators of information using geographical knowledge and understanding using skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation to form measured views on complex issues at different scales. Thus, AS and A2 Geography form distinctive but related elements affording opportunities for specialisation consistent with progression.

Whatever your passion in the world, geography will provide you with the knowledge, experience and transferrable skills that will advance you professionally

Entry requirements

It is preferable that students have achieved a Grade C or above at GCSE Level Geography


AS Level

Unit 1: Physical & Human Geography

  • 70% of AS (35% of A Level)
  • 2 hour written exam
  • Structured short and extended questions

Unit 2: Geographical Skills

  • 30% of AS (15% of A Level)
  • 1 hour written exam
  • Structured skills (based on Unit 1 content) and fieldwork questions

A Level

Unit 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues

  • 30% of A Level
  • 2½ hours written exam
  • Structured short and extended questions plus an essay

Unit 4B: Geographical Issue Evaluation

  • 20% of A Level
  • 1½ hours written exam
  • Structured short and extended questions based on Advanced Information Booklet

Future opportunities

Across the UK more than 90 Universities offer BA or BSc degree courses in geography. The range of options is large and constantly developing.

If you specialise in geography at higher education (or use your Geography A Level as a stepping stone to study geology at university) you could find yourself doing things like charting oil wells or exploring rock formations throughout the world. And because geography is about the interaction between people and our planet, this fascinating subject is valid for a number of different career paths, like advertising, environmental management, law or social services. Geographers’ ability is highly sought after in the workplace and in a world where much of our information is now spatially based – from postcodes to satellite navigation systems – Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has rapidly become an essential tool in business organisations and Government

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Brine Leas School directly.

Last updated date: 30 September 2016

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