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Course outline

There has never been a more relevant time to study geography, as barely a day passes without news linked to geographic themes: climate change, housing shortages, water conflict, energy security, and international political agreements. Geographers have a vital role to play in managing the major global challenges of the future.

During this A Level course students will get to grips with major themes in geography including tectonic processes, globalisation, landscape systems, the water and carbon cycles, climate change, and global development.

Field work is an important and exciting part of the geography syllabus, allowing you to develop real-world skills and analytical techniques that can be applied in future research, study, or employment.

Course content

The course is divided into 3 external papers and 1 internally assessed coursework unit.

Paper 1

Written examination: 2 hours 30% of the qualification 90 marks.

Content overview:

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Landscape systems, Processes and Change
  • The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
  • Climate Change Futures

Paper 2

Written examination: 2 hours 30% of the qualification 90 marks.

Content overview

  • Globalisation
  • Shaping Places
  • Superpowers
  • Global Development and Connections

Paper 3

Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes 20% of the qualification 60 marks.

Content overview

The specification contains three synoptic themes within the compulsory content areas:

  • Players
  • Attitudes and actions
  • Futures and uncertainties

The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to the three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.

Entry requirements

GCSE geography grade 6

Career / higher education opportunities

Geography A Level is highly valued by universities and can lead to a wide range of further studies and careers, including: international development; climate change research; DEFRA; catastrophe risk analysis; Environment Agency; crime and disorder advisor; cartography; GIS analysis; hydrology; education; town planning; land surveying; reconstruction; travel writing; international relations; polar research; fundraising; women's outreach; teaching; sustainability.

Course specification

Edexcel A Level