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Geography - A Level at City of Oxford College

Course description

Combine the study of physical, human and environmental geography with topics such as extreme weather, climate change, the food supply problem, cultural diversity and the technological fix. 

A-level Geography focuses on the differing values attitudes and perceptions of a range of people and encourages you to develop skills of analysis and evaluation.

You develop the skills necessary for further academic study, such as strong report writing, essay writing and study skills, including presentation skills. 

You also improve wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course you benefit from individual support, including clear advice about higher education and careers.

Course content

Develop your knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts while picking up valuable life-skills. We use a variety of local, national and international case studies to show theory in practice and solidify concepts. Be creative and think outside the box. Your opinions are important and this subject needs them! 

You follow the WJEC specification.

First Year (AS)
• Unit G1: Changing Physical Environments
Climate change, hydrology, plate tectonics and fieldwork (based on flooding).

• Unit G2: Changing Human Environments
Population dynamics, settlements in more economically developed countries and fieldwork.

Second Year (A2)
• Unit G3: Contemporary Geography Themes and Research
Extreme environments, development and independent research.

• Unit G4: Sustainability 
Food, water, energy and cities.

You learn in a variety of ways, typically through discussion, group work, independent study, traditional essays, reading and research tasks. There is a balance between challenge and support. You play an active part in your learning and there is a strong focus on your individual learning needs. 

Classes take place over four days a week between 9am and 5pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled sessions. In addition, you have the opportunity to attend trips and visits according to the needs of individual subjects. There are many enrichment opportunities, enabling you to extend your learning beyond the bounds of your chosen subjects.

Entry requirements

6 x C grades at GCSE including English and maths. There are subject specific criteria for some subjects, for this subject you will need GCSE English Language grade C.


Formal assessment is through examinations and, in some subjects, through coursework. The examination periods are in May/June. There are a range of regular assignments, essays and class based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you receive regular feedback on your progress.

Future opportunities

Geography is a good subject to compliment humanities subjects like history, social science subjects like sociology and science subjects like chemistry, biology and physics. Geography students acquire a wide range of skills which are useful in both higher education and the world of work.

Further information

Course books:

“Integrated Geography” by David Waugh (Nelson 3rd edition) 
(A very comprehensive standard textbook for both AS and A2 Geography)
“WJEC AS Geography: Unit G1: Changing Physical Environments Student Unit Guide” by (Philip Allan Updates)
“WJEC AS Geography: Unit G2: Changing Human Environments Student Unit Guide” by David Burtenshaw & Sue Warn (Philip Allan Updates)

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact City of Oxford College directly.

Last updated date: 19 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
      • From Ring Road: use EITHER Banbury Road or Woodstock Road to city centre. At traffic lights, end of St. Giles (Map 1), turn right into Beaumont Street and follow signs to the rail station. At the second set of traffic lights, i.e. at the bottom of Park End Street, turn left into Oxpens Road (ice rink). The College is ¼ mile on the left.
      • From South (Newbury) A34: Turn off A34 to Southern bypass and make for Cowley. At next roundabout, turn left to city centre (park and ride on left). Follow Abingdon Road to end, form left towards ice rink and parks. The College is opposite the ice rink.
      • From A423 (Henley/Reading): Join ring road at (Sainsburys) and turn left to next roundabout and right to city centre and ice rink.
      • From East (London): M40/A40 At end of A40 turn left at roundabout signed Cowley. Continue on the ring road, (4 roundabouts) to Abingdon Road, city centre and ice rink.
      • From the train station: the campus is 10 minutes walk from the station.