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What will I learn?

The Geography A Level course is designed to challenge perceptions, stimulate investigative skills and allow exploration of the interactions between human and physical processes on our planet.

Students will complete six topics over the two year course:

  1. Global Connections: This module is broken up into two components: Global Migration and Human Rights. In the first of these, students study the changing patterns of global migration and the reasons for its complexities. They look at the issues that can arise from uneven flows of people through studying examples from contrasting areas of the world. The study of human rights focuses on gender equality and includes a case study on women’s rights and inequality. You will then explore the global strategies for governance of human rights and the influences this has on uneven global development.
  2. Changing Spaces; Making Places: This unit explores the connections between people, the economy, society and the environment to explain why places are constantly changing. You will look at how people give meaning to place and then how this can influence behaviours, attitudes and actions.
  3. Water and Carbon Cycles: You will examine the way that physical processes control the cycling of water and carbon between the land, oceans and the atmosphere. This includes studying the impact of the carbon and water cycles in tropical rainforests and the Arctic tundra.
  4. Landscape Systems: This will involve an in-depth study of the dynamic interactions between winds, waves, ocean currents and sediment along our coastline. You will learn the natural processes that create distinctive landforms, as well as develop an understanding of how humans use and adapt these habitats.
  5. Disease Dilemmas: This unit considers the global patterns of diseases and the impact these have on economic growth. You consider the complex causes of diseases and the implications of unequal access to drugs and knowledge across the world. By studying the roles of pharmaceuticals and NGOs you will gain an understanding into the challenges of managing diseases on our increasingly globalised planet.
  6. Hazardous Earth: You will study the tectonic processes that occur on our planet with a particular focus on volcanic and seismic activity. Through case studies of tectonic events you then look at the implications of living in tectonically active areas and how people manage to survive and flourish in these challenging environments.

You are required to complete four days of practical fieldwork and we do this during our annual residential trip to the Cranedale Centre in North Yorkshire. The visit is currently the highlight of the A Level course for many students as the physical and human topics studied in the classroom suddenly come to life. You will be required to collect data for an independent project based on an issue or a question you have chosen. After collecting data on this trip, you will complete your written assignment to show a critical understanding of research procedures in Geography. This will account for 20% of your final grade and it provides a fantastic opportunity to gain many marks before entering the examination hall.

Students may also opt to participate in our overseas visits; recent destinations have included Iceland, China, New York, Italy, Morocco and The Azores.

Who should choose Geography?

Geography suits students who wish to study a subject that is relevant to their own life and experience, and those who care about issues affecting people and the environment. An interest in travel and exploring other cultures, places, landscapes and events is key, although you don’t need to have travelled in order to get the most from this subject. We like to get out of the classroom and see the places we study so you will have many opportunities to complete practical fieldwork. We aim to teach inspiring, interesting and dynamic lessons and give individualised support to our pupils; so, a desire to engage with your subject teachers is key. Essentially, if you have an opinion, and want to change the world for the better, then this is the subject for you.

What other subjects go well with Geography?

The diverse nature of our subject means that Geography goes well with a wide range of subjects. Our classes contain scientists and mathematicians, historians, linguists and philosophers, and they all feel able to contribute different viewpoints to discussion.

Beyond the classroom

As Shakespeare said ‘the world's mine oyster’ and an A Level in Geography will be useful for whichever career or degree you choose. This has been supported by the Russell Group of Universities who list Geography as one of their eight ‘facilitating subjects’. Our students have gone on to study a wide range of degrees for example Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Law, Politics, Languages, Environmental Management, and Hazard Management.

This is in addition to the many students who continue their geographical studies at university, and we have longstanding success of our Geography degree students getting into their top choice of university, including Oxford and Cambridge. The Guardian newspaper recently described Geography as the ‘must have’ A Level, due to the wealth of transferable skills you learn. These include mathematical skills, extended writing skills, analysis and data interpretation skills and decision making abilities, to name just a few. This makes geographers the second most employable university graduates.

For further information, please contact Mrs White: or a member of the Geography department.

"My study of A Level Geography has taught me so much about the world in which we live. The lessons are always dynamic and interesting and we get plenty of support from our teachers. The fieldtrip was brilliant, as it enabled me to interact at firsthand with the Geography we had studied in the classroom, and, while we worked hard, it was also really great fun! At the beginning of Lower Sixth, I was unsure what I wanted to study at university, but I am now applying to study for a BA in Geography." Eleanor, Sixth Former