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Earth, wind and fire; floods, landslides, poverty, crime, earthquakes and is it going to rain today? These are just some of the topics covered in what many people see as one of the most useful A levels: Geography.  

Geography at A level is about understanding the two-way relationship between people and the environment. How does the environment pose challenges and opportunities for people and how do people shape and manage the environment?  

The course is suitable for anybody who has an interest in people or the environment and acts as a natural complement to many other subjects on both sides of the arts/science divide, such as Economics, Business Studies, Biology or History. A level Geography is well respected by university admissions tutors in a range of disciplines.  

The Course

Edexcel Geography

The new specification balances traditional geography with contemporary and engaging geographical subject content. Key themes are management of change and sustainability. It encourages students to reflect on why they think the way they do about an issue, as well as how others think, skills that are vital for citizens in the 21st century.

The specification allows students to extend and exercise their geographical skills, and to make choices. Fieldwork is at the core of this, but there are also opportunities to develop further skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The qualification is made up of four parts

A level paper 1

Students will study tectonic processes and hazards, landscape systems, processes and change with Coastal landscapes and Change as the option. They will then study the water cycle and water insecurity and finally the carbon cycle and energy insecurity. This is assessed in a 2hour 15 minute exam paper worth 30% of the overall grade.

A Level paper 2

Students will study Globalisation and Shaping places with regeneration as the chosen option. They will then study Superpowers, global development and connections studying migration, identity and sovereignty as the option.

This is again assessed by a 2 hour 15 minute exam worth 30% of the overall grade.

A level paper 3

Students study 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.

This unit is assessed by a  2 hour and 15 minutes exam  worth 20% of the qualification

The final element of the A level is coursework.

The student defines a question or issue for investigation, relating to the compulsory or optional content. The topic may relate to any aspect of geography contained within the specification. The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data

The fieldwork, which forms the focus and context of the individual investigation, may be either human, physical or integrated physical-human. The investigation report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing. Students will be expected to show evidence that they have used both quantitative and qualitative data to support their independent investigation as appropriate to the particular environment and/or location.

The course work will account for 20% of the qualification. The college can also run retake courses in the CIE, AQA and OCR specifications.

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