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Geography

Introduction

Geography is a dynamic subject and very popular at GCSE level. The A-level in Geography offers you the opportunity to delve deeper into complex issues and explore the discipline of places and spaces and their interconnections. It allows you to develop numerous tangible s skills that will prove to be prominent in the world of work such as critical and analytical thinking.

Component 1: Physical geography
What's assessed

 

Section A: Water and carbon cycles

Section B: either Hot desert environments and their margins or Coastal systems and landscapes

Section C: either Hazards or Ecosystems under stress or Cold environments

How it's assessed • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes • 96 marks • 40% of A-level
Questions •

 

Section A: answer all questions (27 marks) •

Section B: answer either question 3 or question 4 (27 marks) •

Section C: answer either question 5 or question 6 or question 7 (42 marks) • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response and extended prose

Component 2: Human geography
What's assessed

 

Section A: Global systems and global governance

Section B: Changing places

Section C: either Contemporary urban environments or Population and the environment or Resource security

How it's assessed • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes • 96 marks • 40% of A-level
Questions •

 

Section A: answer all questions (27 marks) •

Section B: answer all questions (27 marks) •

Section C: answer either question 5 or question 6 or question 7 (42 marks) • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose

Component 3: Geographical investigation
What's assessed: Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content
How it's assessed • 3,000–4,000 words • 35 marks • 20% of A-level • marked by teachers • moderated by AQA

What independent study do I need to do?

It is easy to think that A level is similar to GCSE but more difficult. It will require a lot of independent reading of key texts which will be given to you in lesson or you can take out from the library. A list of key websites will also be given to you so that you can revise and extend your geographical knowledge. When working independently ,it is important to approach the course in the following way:

…..A More Analytical Approach

At AS level there is a greater demand for investigation and scrutiny of information and data. Words like explainaccount for as well as assess, discuss, justify, analyse and compare are much more common. Rather than describe, define, locate and what is meant by for GCSE

AS students are expected to weigh up the evidence and make informed judgements about problems and issues as well as understanding the geographical processes, concepts and general principles involved.

…..A More Mature Approach

A levels are more sophisticated than GCSE’s so please approach your studies in a more stylish and experienced manner. This means…

  1. Examining Interrelationships: linking one aspect with another even though they may have been taught in separate units

How far is the transport network more closely related to the distribution of population than to relief and drainage?

  1. Problem Analysis: Instead of asking for descriptions or factual statements, students will be required to have a detailed knowledge of specific problems relating to a decision or development.

Examine the problems of siting new airports in developed countries

  1. Use of Models and Concepts: Examples and theories are often used in geography to support patterns in a particular situation

Describe Weber’s model of industrial location. Show how far the model can be used to explain the location of the motor car manufacturing industry in one country.

  1. Advanced Skills and Techniques: many questions are set to test your ability to use geographical skills and techniques. It looks towards a more scientific and statistical approach in collecting, measuring and interpreting data
  2. A systems Approach: this focuses on the interrelationships between variables such as vegetation, land and capital. These variables interact with each other and changes in one will have a knock on the rest.

What other courses complement Geography?

A-Level Geography complements a wide range of A Level subjects. This includes Sociology, Politics and some elements of Earth science and History.

What are the options post-18 and what are the career pathways if you study this course?

There are many options for post-18. Students can go onto studying various fields at university which is either directly or indirectly linked to Geography. Geography also provides you with an insight into a range of practical, social, economic and environmental issues. In addition to core geographic skills, for example field work and the use of specialist field equipment, preparing maps and diagrams, and using social survey and interpretative methods, you also develop a range of key skills that are relevant to many jobs and sectors. Jobs include: