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Geography A Level at Carmel College

Course description

Geography is an established subject, which emphasises a balanced understanding of both physical and human environments.

Your study of the subject will be based on two key elements: A ‘People-Environment’ approach to Geography and an‘Enquiry’ approach to learning.

‘People-Environment Geography’ is based on the examination of the questions, issues and problems arising from the interaction of people with their varied environments.

The ‘Enquiry’ approach to learning rests on the understanding that effective learning occurs when students are actively engaged in enquiry into key environmental questions, issues and problems. All units that you will study encourage you to evaluate sustainable development options for the future and to consider the part that you might play as a citizen and the contribution which you can make to a more sustainable use of the environment.

Course content

Within Geography, you will study the following:

Dynamic Landscapes

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards:  you will study earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and secondary hazards such as tsunamis.
  • Landscape Systems, Processes and Change:  you will investigate glaciated or coastal landscapes and the changes they experience through both physical processes and human activity.

Dynamic Places

  • Globalisation: you will study globalisation and global interdependence as it continues to accelerate, resulting in changing opportunities for businesses and people.
  • Shaping Places: you will investigate places that are regenerating or are diverse in structure, specifically looking at how such places vary both demographically and culturally with change driven by local, national and global processes.

Physical Systems and Sustainability

Within this area of study, you will develop a detailed knowledge of the following key physical systems and an understanding of the challenges we face in managing their sustainability for future generations:

  • The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity: water plays a key role in supporting life on Earth.
  • The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security: a balanced carbon cycle is important in maintaining planetary health.
  • Climate Change Futures: climate and climate change provide a context for developing an understanding of the links between the water and carbon cycles and the role of feedbacks within and between the two cycles.

Human Systems and Geopolitics

  • Superpowers: you will investigate how Superpowers can develop through a number of characteristics and how their pattern of dominance has changed over time.
  • Global Development and Connections: you will study either; Health, Human Rights and Intervention where traditional definitions of development are based largely on economic measures but have been increasingly challenged with both human health and human rights being seen as significant measures of the progress within a society; or Migration, Identity and Sovereignty, recognising that Globalisation involves movements of capital, goods and people, resulting in unequal power relations which have tended to lead to unequal social and economic outcomes in the world.

Coursework: Independent Investigation

 A Level Geography students undertake a minimum of four days of fieldwork and in this coursework component you are required to undertake an Independent Investigation that involves fieldwork, producing a written academic report of 3000 to 4000 words.

Entry requirements

A grade B in GCSE Geography and a grade B in English Language. If Geography is not studied, then a grade B in English Language and a grade B in one other essay based subject is required.


Exam Board - EDEXCEL

The course consists of three externally examined papers and one coursework component, which will all be assessed in May/June of the second year of study.

The course leads to a varied assessment and examination package, specifically designed to recognise your achievement and progress over the course. Throughout the course you will be assessed on a regular basis to enable both you and your Tutors to measure your progress and set targets for improvement. Your fieldwork and research skills will be assessed across the areas of study.

Future opportunities

Many students, on completing A Level Geography, progress onto Higher Education courses in Geography or Environmental Science.

You will be able to build on your Geography, and as many former students have done, move into specialist careers in development, ecosystems and environmental management, land and water processes, cartography and computing, population, settlement and industry as well as tourism and recreation. The list is endless!

Further information

What support will I receive?

The department takes pride in the level of support we can give you and a wide range of support will be available to you on the Geography course. A booking system is available for you to arrange individual tutorials on specific topics related to your studies. Group tutorials are also arranged to provide revision support prior to your exams and ‘drop-in’ tutorials are set up during the completion of assignments for example. So there is no need to lose sleep at night, all you have to do is drop into the department; your teachers will always be available to offer help and support.

In addition to academic and pastoral support, you will also have access to a wide range of resources and seminars related to careers in Geography throughout your course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Carmel College directly.

Last updated date: 05 September 2016

Key information