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Geography has a major contribution to make to the development of an understanding of the natural world and the people who live in it. It encourages an appreciation of natural and human processes that give rise to the distinctive character of places and environments. The GCSE syllabus promotes a perspective in which candidates can place local, national and international events and it encourages the development of a wide range of intellectual and social skills. The syllabus content is presented as three units which are summarised below.


Unit 1: Understanding Our Natural World

  • Theme A: River Environments

  • Theme B: Coastal Environments

  • Theme C: Our Changing Weather and Climate

  • Theme D: Restless Earth


Unit 2: Living in Our World

  • Theme A: Population and Migration

  • Theme B: Changing Urban Areas

  • Theme C: Contrasts in World Development

  • Theme D: Managing Our Environment


Unit 3: Fieldwork

  • Fieldwork investigation


Scheme of Assessment:

Three external exams:

Unit 1 and 2: 1 hour 30 minutes each, 40% weighting each.

Unit 3: 1 hour fieldwork paper, 20% weighting.


Careers Awareness:

Commercial Careers: Banking, Insurance, and Tourism.

Environmental Services: Town Planning, Forestry and Conservation.  

Teaching:  Primary and secondary teaching.

Scientific Services: Meteorology, Hydrology, Soil Science, GIS, Geology.

Information Services: Journalism, Market Research, Publishing,

Museum work, Libraries, Archives, Broadcasting, Estate Agency.

Geography is a very relevant subject for making sense of today’s complicated and changing world. An understanding of our natural planet and the different people who live in it gives students greater awareness of the world at large and their place within it. Geography encourages enquiring minds and builds foundations for life-long learning. 



AS 1

Physical Geography. Focus On:

  • Rivers/flooding

  • Local forest ecosystems/sand dune succession/global grassland biomes

  • Climate factors/ hurricanes


AS 2

Human Geography. Focus on:

  • Population change/resource balance.

  • Rural and urban environments.

  • World development/reducing the development gap

AS 3

Fieldwork skills and techniques

  • Sand dunes fieldwork



A2 1: Physical Processes, Landforms and Management

Select two options from the following:

  • Plate Tectonics – Theory and Outcomes

  • Tropical Ecosystems – Nature and Sustainability

  • Dynamic Coastal Environments

  • Climate Change – Past and Present


A2 2: Processes and Issues in Human Geography

Select two options from the following:

  • Cultural Geography and Migration.

  • Planning for Sustainable Settlements

  • Ethnic Diversity

  • Tourism


A2 3: Decision Making In Geography



AS 1

Worth 40% of AS 16% of A Level

1 hour 15 minutes external examination

AS 2

Worth 40% of AS 16% of A Level

1 hour 15 minutes external examination

AS 3

Worth 20% of AS 8% of A Level

1 hour external examination



A2 1

Worth 24% of A Level

1 hour and 30 minutes external examination


A2 2

Worth 24% of A Level

1 hours and 30 minutes external examination


A2 3

Worth 12% of A Level

1 hours and 30 minutes external examination


  • You may wish to study Geography for personal interest, or to support the wide range of other academic subjects that Geography naturally connects with eg, Science, Economics etc.

  • For those who aim to study Geography at degree level, you will need to complete the full A2 course.

  • Many of the topics and issues that you will study will be reported in the media, for example, environmental concerns, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, development issues and migration.


Studying Geography at this level will:

  • Help to develop key skills such as fieldwork, communication, numeracy, ICT, teamwork and decision-making.

  • Enable you to contribute to important debates on the current issues facing our world today.


GCSE Geography A* - C


This course can help you to develop a wide range of key skills that are attractive to employers. The close link between studying Geography and what is going on in the world around you, could lead you to a career in a large number of different fields. Many Geography students go on to have successful careers such as urban planners, cartographers, GIS specialists, climatologists, environment managers, weather researchers, teachers, demographers, environmental managers and/or hazardous-waste planners.


The fieldwork skills requirement for AS Geography involves carrying out a piece of group fieldwork and answering questions in an examination based on this fieldwork. There is no coursework to be submitted. The AS fieldwork in Mount Lourdes is carried out during a one day visit to Mullaghmore Beach in County Sligo.

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