What is Geography?
Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences (human geography) with the natural sciences (physical geography). Geography puts this understanding of social and physical processes within the context of places and regions - recognising the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and the links between them. Understanding the causes of differences and inequalities between places and social groups is a focus of much of the newer developments in human geography. Why study Geography? Geography is becoming more important in our world. Every day the news is filled with reports on climate change, issues about where we live and how we travel, natural disasters and human conflicts, what we eat and where it comes from and developments in local and global business. We live in a world where the richest 225 individual people have an income equal to the poorest 47 percent of the planet’s entire population (over 3 billion people). It’s important to understand what’s going on if we are to make informed choices about how we live and change the world for the better.
Specifications For Year 12
Unit One: Physical geography and people and the environment.
This unit will cover the major stores of water and carbon at or near the Earth’s surface and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. These are major elements in the natural environment and understanding them is fundamental to many aspects of physical geography. Students will also study the nature, forms and potential impacts of natural hazards including geophysical, atmospheric and hydrological examples.
Unit Two: Human geography and the geography fieldwork investigation.
This unit has a focus on globalisation – the economic, political and social changes associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of global economy and society in recent decades. All students must also complete a fieldwork investigation, and in the examination they may be asked questions on any aspect of this.
Specifications for Year 13
Unit One: Physical geography
Students will focus on coastal zones, which are dynamic environments in which landscapes develop by the interaction of winds, waves, currents and terrestrial and marine processes. They should develop an appreciation of the diversity of coasts and their importance as human habitats. Students will also continue to develop their understanding of water and carbon cycles and hazards.
Unit Two: Human Geography
Students will focus on the continuing growth of human populations, associated with economic development and changing lifestyles, which continues to be one of the defining features of the present era. They will explore the relationships between population numbers, population health and wellbeing, levels of economic development and the role and impact of the natural environment. Students will also focus on people's engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they ascribe to them which are of fundamental importance in their lives.
Unit Three: Geography investigation.
Students are required to undertake an independent investigation, and this must incorporate a significant element of fieldwork.
Assessment: Two papers both 2 ½ hours long worth 80% of A-Level covering year 12 and year 13 topics, and a geographical investigation, 3000 – 4000 words, worth 20% of A-Level.
Generic A-Level entry requirements, plus Geography at Grade 5.
You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses or to prepare for the A2 in Geography, which could lead onto higher education in areas of geography, humanities, science or more general higher education courses. With further training, you could go on to a job related to geography. The qualification will also help you to develop general skills that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.