Geography - AQA AS/A Level at East Durham College
Awarding Body - AQA
The AS Level course is highly structured. In lessons students usually carry out individual or small group activities. Skills are taught within the course content at appropriate places. Assessment is through structured questions and extended writing.
At A2 Level students are expected to write essay style answers to examination questions and develop these skills with essay assignments where extended reading is required. Residential fieldwork is provided to underpin course content, with an emphasis on data collection skills. This allows students to develop the geographical skills of statistical analysis and data presentation which are taught alongside the topics in the course.
AS Level Unit 1: Physical and Human Geography, a 2 hour exam in the first year in June.
AS Level Unit 2: Geographical Skills, a 1 hour exam in the first year in June.
A2 Level Unit 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues, a 2 hour 30 minutes exam in the second year in June.
A2 Level Unit 4A: Geography Fieldwork Investigation, a 1 hour 30 minutes exam in the second year in June.
A2 Level Unit 4B: Geographical Issue evaluation, a 1 hour 30 minutes exam in the second year in June.
The AS Level modules cover a range of topics, both physical and human in content. In addition, geographical skills are taught and assessed within the two units.
Unit 1: Physical and Human Geography
Core Physical and Human Section
- River, floods and management
- Population changes
Optional Physical Section
Choose one from:- Cold environments, coastal environments or hot deserts.
Optional Human Section
And one from:-food supply issues, energy issues or health issues.
Unit 2: Geographical skills
A geographical skills paper based on the content of Unit 1. Skills include: investigative, cartographic, graphical, ICT and statistical skills.
The A2 Level modules cover a range of topics, both physical and human in content, with a more synoptic approach. In addition, there is a unit on fieldwork.
Unit 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues
An issues based approach to contemporary geographical themes. Candidates select three topics, at least one from the physical options and at least one from the human options.
Optional Physical topics:
- Plate tectonics and associated hazards
- Weather and climate and associated hazards
- Ecosystems: change and challenges
Optional Human topics:
-Development and globalisation
-Contemporary conflicts and challenges
Unit 4A Geography fieldwork investigation
This unit gives candidates the opportunity to extend an area of subject content into a more detailed fieldwork study.
Unit 4B Geographical Issue Evaluation
This unit gives candidates the opportunity to use their skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
For Geography you will need grade B or above in either GCSE Mathematics or GCSE English.
For a 3 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 5 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics.
For a 4 A level programme you will need to have a minimum of 6 A* - C grade passes at GCSE which includes English and Mathematics; it is expected that the majority of passes will be at A* - A grade.
The course is assessed by written exams; paper 1 and paper 2 are sat in June of the AS year, and paper 3 and either paper 4a/4b are taken at the end of the A2 year.
If you have been a UK resident for the past 3 years and are under the age of 19 on the 31st August, you will not usually need to pay any course fees.
Careers include: teaching, exploration, planning, geologist, mapping, nuclear industries and environmental and wildlife conservation.
Students can progress on to a wide range of higher education options. As well as progressing to directly linked courses such as geography, geology and environmental sciences, students can also use geography as a qualification for entry on to courses in law, management sciences, business, architecture, medicine and veterinary science.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact East Durham College directly.