Geography AS and A Level

Social Sciences

Social Sciences
Social Sciences
We are only accepting one application per candidate.

What will you be working towards?

Code TPT8
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


The world is an amazing place and Geography gives you the opportunity to study it and your place within it. The subject lends itself to a wide range of learning experiences from discussion to mapwork, from presentations to fieldwork and from writing to ICT. Geography is uniquely placed as a bridge between the Arts and the Sciences and enables you to maintain a broad education with any combination of subjects.


AS Level:

Landscape Systems:  This topic introduces students to the integrated study of earth surface processes, landforms and resultant landscapes.  Students will explore how a glacial landscape can be viewed as system, how glacial landforms develop within this landscape and the influences of both climate and human activity on the landscape.  As part of our study we will visit the Lake District for a short residential where we will carry out quantitative and qualitative fieldwork to support the learning in this unit and the fieldwork assessment in the exam.

Changing Spaces; Making places:  People are at the heart of places, living their lives, forming attachments and making connections.  Places are dynamics, multilayered and the history and the culture of a nation can be found in their buildings, public spaces, towns and cities.  Our environment includes a wide variety of places, from rural to urban, small streets to megacities and diversity exists not only between but also within all of these places.  Chnaging Spaces; Making Places allows students to look through a local lens to understand regional, national and global issues.

Hazardous Earth: Movement of the Earth's land masses, from Pangaea to present day are evidence that forces beneath our feet are at work.  Seismic and volcanic activity creates hazards as populations have grown and inhabited more of the Earth.  Although hazardous, earthquakes and volcanoes create new landforms and can support life on Earth from flora and fauna to populations.  As technology has evolved , the capacity to predict and mitigate against tetonic hazard events has improved although the impact of an event can leave communities and countries devastated.

A Level (as well as the above units students will study the below):

Earth's Life Support Systems:  Water and carbon support life on earth.  71% of the Earth's surface is covered in water, however 68% of the freshwater is locked in ice and glaciers.  Water is moved and stored beneath our feet and this 30% is critically important to life on Earth.  Forests, soils, oceans and the atmosphere all store carbon and yet they are threatened  and altered by human activity.  This will be examined in detail through the Tropical Rainforest and the Arctic Tundra case studies  as well as at a global scale.

Global Connections: Through two overarching themes of global systems and global governance, students will investigate how these shape relationships between citizens, states and organisations around the world.  Global systems, including those that regulate and order trade, financial  transactions and migration, create interdependencies, which produce uneven geographies of winners and losers.  States and non-state organisations respond to these flows and global systems, which can sometimes act to promote stability, growth and development, but which can also be the cause of inequalities, conflicts and injustice.

Disease Dilemas: Diseases do not discriminate who become infected or develop symptons.  Diseases can be communicable and noncommunicable and a number of physical and human factors affect an individual's and a community's susceptibility to the risk.  The global nature of some diseases in terms of their geographical spread and scale has encouraged international efforts to combat them.  the causes of disease are often complex and the impacts even more so, especially when dealing with these at epidemic and pandemic levels.  Continued research into diseases and developments in pharmaceuticals and 'our' understanding of diseases offers opportunities to combat diseases, however unequal access to drugs and information has implcations for communities and countries.

How will it be delivered?

There are two exams at the end of the AS Level Geography course:

  • Landscape and Place: A 2 hour exam worth 60% of the AS grade.  It will assess the units of Landscape Systems, Changing Spcaes; making places as well as fieldwork and geographical skills.
  • Geographical Debates: A 1 hour and 30 minute exam worth 40% of the AS grade.  It will assess the Hazardous Earth unit and geographical skills.

A Level - all examined papers taken at the end of Y13.

There are three exams at the end of the A Level course and the independent investigation.  The topics studied in Y12 as well as those in Y13 will be assessed.

  • Physical Systems - 1 hour 45 minutes  (24% of the A level)
  • Human Systems - 1 hour 45 minutes (24% of the A level)
  • Geographical Debates - 2 hours 30 minutes (32% of the A level)
  • Independent Investigation - (20% of the A level)

Entry requirements

Geography GCSE grade 5 or above if studied at GCSE. 

Your next steps...

Geography can be studied as a BA or BSc. Geography forms the core of a wide range of specialised and often vocational degree courses such as Environmental Management and Town Planning. Many of the qualities developed on the course e.g. carrying out individual research, evaluating conflicting arguments and working in teams are qualities that are highly regarded by employers. As far as employers are concerned, you can quote Sam Toy, former managing director of Ford UK (and a Geography graduate) who once remarked that Geography "is the best subject in the world for getting on in industry".

The Russell Group of universities consider Geography to be a facilitating subject which allows access to a wide range of degree courses.