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Geography

Why study Geography?

There has never been a better or more important time to study Geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, disaster management as well as the environmental and resource issues associated with a population of over 7 billion people, Geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose to study. Statistics show that compared with other subjects, geographers are amongst the most employable.

What does the course cover and what is expected of you?

At AS Level (Year 12), there are two core topics of Tectonic process and hazards, as well as Globalisation. In addition, we will study one physical topic of either coastal landscapes and change, and one human topic chosen from Regenerating Place or Diverse Place. During this year pupils will also complete an extended project on a topic of their choice.

At A2 Level (Year 13), students will select topics from superpowers, global development, health, human rights and migration. As well as water insecurity and energy security.

In all topics, consideration is given to the political viewpoint, economic impact, sustainable development and resource management. Students will be encouraged to develop transferable geographical skills such as data handling and analysis, presentation techniques and ICT skills including the use of Geographical Information Systems.

Most of the work is on a teacher-led class discussion basis, backed up by prepared notes. Students will be expected to get ‘hands on’ as every opportunity is taken to relate theory to practical examples through local fieldwork. A compulsory four days of fieldwork means that pupils really get hands on with their learning. This is supplemented by individual study, group work and reinforced by the use of audio-visual presentations and the internet. Students experiencing difficulties can be supported through individual tuition as required.

Staff are passionate about providing wider geographical experiences and we aim to provide an opportunity for both travel within the UK and further afield. We have previously led a group to Iceland and this was a highlight for all involved and a destination that we wish to revisit.

Where can it take you?

To the ends of the Earth covering anything and everything in between!

A modern qualification in Geography can provide an invaluable stepping-stone to many jobs and careers. The potential career options are immense but include Environmental Law, Water/Coastal Management, Journalism, Urban Planning/Design, Disaster Management, Business and Finance and Leisure and Tourism. AS or A2 Geography is considered a strong ‘facilitating’ subject for meeting entrance requirements for many university courses.

Entry requirements

Students would ideally have achieved five GCSE grades A-C including Geography. Consideration will be given to students failing to meet the entry criteria, but who are interested in Geography at A Level, on an individual basis.

Courses assessment

The course consists of 3 modular examinations and a piece of coursework. ALL exams will be taken at the end of the second year. These will be a combined physical and human geography paper consisting of structured questions and extended case studies. There will also be an independent investigation relating to your own fieldwork. A further exam will be undertaken based on pre-release material, with some essay style questions. The final exam is based on a fieldwork investigation or an advanced information leaflet.

Exam Board

Edexcel

Student View

“I chose to do geography, basically for two main reasons my knowledge and my interests. I generally love the outdoors and I really enjoy understanding it at a higher level than GCSE, I also enjoy having the knowledge that I know is accurate and being able to share this knowledge. I enjoy mostly the physical aspect of geography and some aspects of human geography, but I really enjoy the way they interchange with each other. I really enjoy the way that I can put my knowledge into practice with current affairs and even having trips out to study these affairs. With my study of geography, I plan to go into further education (university) and study outdoor adventure and environment, where I will be studying the outdoor environment and using the adventure sports such as kayaking, canoeing and even hiking to travel to study the environment and collect the fieldwork data.”                

“When I was in Year 11, making a final decision on what subjects I wanted to do for A-Levels was difficult (so I understand how you feel right now!), but in the end I chose the subjects I enjoyed or was the best on, and Geography was one of those choices. I have to admit I didn’t have such high expectations for taking Geography because in my former mainstream school I didn’t enjoy it much but it was one of the subjects I had a good grade on. When I moved to Mary Hare and started Geography with Mrs Watkins and Mr Askew I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Geography because of the interesting topics we learnt in AS. In Geography AS, you will discover it’s so easy to learn with Mr Askew and Mrs Watkins because of the fun activities they give you and they took us to many places to really see how the world works its magic. To study rivers, we went on a trip to Calshot where we visited River Lymington and used equipment to really understand the river and there is so many interesting things to learn! But also, the teachers are so good that it’s very easy to achieve a high grade with their help. So, trust me, Geography has a lot of things for you to really learn about and enjoy in the lessons with the activities provided for you!”

Teacher's Tip

A good geographer will keep up to date with news stories and current affairs, challenge what they read about and create balanced arguments before reaching their own conclusions.

Widen geographical experience through travel and immerse yourself within different cultures. – allow geography to take you around the world.