“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together”. Barack Obama

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Students follow the WJEC Eduqas course.

What does the course involve?

This specification encourages students to apply geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around them, enabling them to develop a critical understanding of the world’s people, places and environments in the 21st century.

The focus of the specification is to develop an enthusiasm for and competence in geography by using contemporary real-world contexts, from a range of specified spatial scales, and through engagement with and practical application of geographical skills and techniques in the field.

The course has four components:

Component 1: Changing Landscapes and Changing Places

  • Changing Landscapes has a choice of two options. We have chosen Glaciated Landscapes as this is not often taught at GCSE and gives students an opportunity to study processes operating in cold environments both now and in the past that bring about changes to the landscape.
  • Changing Places is a compulsory theme and focuses on places and their dynamic characteristics. This will involve consideration of both economic and social change, with a focus on students’ ‘home’ place, and how and why ‘remaking’ of places occurs

Component 2: Global Systems and Global Governance

  • Global systems considers the key role played by the water and carbon cycles in supporting life on Earth.
  • Global Governance considers global change and challenges through a study of global migration and the governance of the Earth’s oceans, including contemporary issues of refugee movements and managing ocean pollution.

Component 3: Contemporary Themes in Geography

  • Tectonic Hazards is a compulsory theme in which students will learn about the processes leading to volcanic and seismic events, and the impacts, responses and management of the hazards they present.
  • Contemporary Themes in Geography has four optional themes of which two must be studied. We have chosen these two:
    • Ecosystems - which allows students to study the importance of ecosystems, how they can be affected by human activity and how these impacts can be mitigated, with a focus on the Arctic tundra biome.
    • Development in an African Context – This option has been designed to make links between physical and human geography and to focus on people-environment interactions in Africa. Students will develop in-depth knowledge, critical understanding and an overview of the concepts and issues underpinning the geographical changes currently taking place on the continent.

Component 4: Independent Investigation

This is the Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) that is integral to all A Level Geography courses. Students will devise their own investigation of a geographical question or issue at a local scale, collect data and present their findings in a written report.

How will you be examined?

This is a linear course with exam papers that assess Components 1, 2 and 3 at the end of the two years. Together, these are worth 80% of the total marks. The questions for Components 1 & 2 will involve a mixture of data response, structured short answer and extended writing tasks. Component 3 is examined through essays – one for each theme. For Component 4, students will produce a written report of between 3000-4000 words which will be marked by their teachers before being externally moderated. It is worth 20% of the total marks.

What could you do after completing the course?

Students often take undergraduate courses within the field of Geography, such as Human and/or Physical Geography, Marine Geography, Environmental Geoscience, or Earth Science. However, the skills and qualities developed through studying Geography are highly transferable into a wide range of roles and different working environments. UCAS highlight the employability of Geographers as having a ‘highly desirable suite of skills which are of a premium to all types of organisations’.

Subject Information Sheet - Geography