A-level Geography

A-level Geography

Geography requires you to think about issues relating to places, economic development and the environment. There is a wide range of issues including:
• What is the impact of an ageing population?
• How are people affected by migration?
• What is the impact of flooding?
• How should land be managed to reduce the risks of flooding?
• For the first time the world’s population is more urban than rural. What are the implications of the rise of megacities?
• What is it like to manage a hazard such as a volcanic eruption in a country that lacks a functioning government?
• What are the responses to global warming at different scales from local to global?
 
Geography lessons focus on the acquisition of knowledge and the practising of skills so that you can increase your ability and confidence to address these and other issues. Teaching and learning strategies include discussion, modelling, classification and living graphs. At AS students practise research and analytical skills in the local environment. ICT is used to get access to Geographical Information Systems and for the analysis and presentation of data. Ordnance Survey maps are used in their paper and digital forms.
 
Entry Requirements
The course is suitable for all students including those who have not previously studied the subject. The main requirement is a range of GCSE results or equivalent with an average of grade B or above.

Course Content

AS Unit 1 – Physical and Human Geography (35%)
This is the study of core geographical concepts alongside contrasting themes of contemporary or environmental impact, management and sustainability. Candidates must study the core and then select one of the physical options and one of the human options. Core physical section: Rivers, floods and management. Optional physical topics: Cold environments, Hot desert environments and their margins, Coastal environments. Core human section: Population change. Optional human topics: Energy issues, Food supply issues, Health issues.
 
AS Unit 2 – Geographical Skills (15%)
This is a geographical skills paper which is based on the content of Unit 1. Skills include: investigative, cartographic, graphical, ICT and statistical skills .
 
A2 Unit 3 – Contemporary Geographical Issues (30%)
This is an issues-based approach to contemporary geographical themes. Candidates must 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 challenge. Optional Human topics: World cities, Development and globalisation, Contemporary conflicts and challenge.
 
A2 Unit 4 – Geographical Issue Evaluation (20%)
This unit gives candidates the opportunity to use their skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. An advance information booklet is pre-released prior to the exam to facilitate candidates’ research into an area which extends from the specification content.

Assessment

AS Level (1 year course)
Unit 1 – GEOG1: Physical and Human Geography 70% of AS, 35% of A Level. (2 hour written examination worth 120 marks) Structured, short and extended questions.
Unit 2 – GEOG2: Geographical Skills 30% of AS, 15% of A Level. (1 hour written examination worth 50 marks) Structured skills and generic fieldwork questions.
A-level (2 year course)
Unit 3 – GEOG3: Contemporary Geographical Issues 30% of A Level. (2 hour 30 minutes written examination worth 90 marks) Structured, short and extended questions, plus an essay.
Unit 4 – GEO4B: Geographical Issue Evaluation 20% of A Level. (1 hour 30 minutes written examination worth 60 marks) Structured, short and extended questions based on an Advance Information Booklet, released on 22 March.

Where does it lead?

Studying Geography will help to develop your literacy, numeracy and data analysis skills. These skills are very important for preparing for a wide range of university courses and future careers. Many universities offer degree courses in Geography or Applied Geography including Marine Geography, Environmental Geography and Geographical Information Systems. Geography can also be combined with other subjects such as Economics, Management and Sports Science at degree level.  
 
Geographers work in a wide range of professions across the Legal, Education, Business, ICT, Government, Retail and Non-profit Sectors. Geographical skills are highly valued by employers because of the thinking skills, research, investigation and analysis involved.

Reading List

Magazine:
Geography Review, published by Philip Allan
 
Websites to explore:
www.ambiental.co.uk/ http://mapzone.ordnancesurvey.co.uk//mapzone/giszone/english/gismissions/activity1.htm
www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/nov/30/bangladesh-climate-migration
http://practicalaction.org/practical-action-bangladesh-1
www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/
www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=62
www.wto.org/english/forums_e/students_e/students_e.htm

 
Books:
AS Geography (AQA) ISBN 978-0-7487-8258-1 A2 Geography (AQA) ISBN 978-0-7487-8259-8
 
Atlas:
Collins Student World Atlas ISBN 978-0-00-743782-5

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