The most important reason for studying Geography is because you enjoy it. We welcome you to study this fascinating and important subject. You will study a wide range of topics.
Geography will help you see clearly and understand accurately the environment that surrounds you. It should make you evaluate and sometimes challenge the way in which the world operates.
Geography has a unique view of the world. It is the only subject that looks at how all the elements of the earth interact and interconnect.
A key idea that runs throughout the whole course is the idea of ‘sustainability’. This looks at how we can manage the planet today without ruining it for future generations. This is a concept that Governments are now realising is top of the environmental agenda.
What is included in this course
There are 3 units:
Unit 1: Physical geography (40% - 150 minutes - 120 marks) This module is examined in June of Year 13. It includes questions on:
- Water & carbon cycles: the carbon budget and the impact of the carbon cycle upon land, ocean and atmosphere, including global climate. The key role of the carbon and water stores and cycles in supporting life on Earth with particular reference to climate.
- Coastal systems & landscapes: coasts as dynamic systems; coastal landscape development; coastal management. Case studies include both a local and distance example of coastlines and how they present risks and opportunities for human occupation and development.
- Hazards: the concept of a hazard; plate tectonics; volcanic hazards; seismic hazards; storm hazards; fires in nature. Case studies include a multi-hazardous environment beyond the UK to illustrate and analyse the nature of hazards.
Unit 2: Human geography (40% - 150 minutes - 120 marks) This module is examined in June of Year 13. It includes questions on:
- Changing places: the nature and importance of places; how places are represented in the media; the meanings people attach to places; exploring the relationships and connections between places. Case studies include both a local and distant example of places by exploring the developing character of that place.
- Population & the environment: environment, health and well-being; population growth dynamics; global population futures. Case studies include both a country experiencing specific population change and a local area to analyse the relationship between place and health.
- Global systems & global governance: globalisation; global systems; international trade and access to markets; global governance; the ‘global commons. Case studies include Antarctica as a global common.
Unit 3: Fieldwork investigation (20% - 35 hours - 60 marks) This module is completed in class during the autumn term of Year 13. Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.
WHAT ABOUT FIELDWORK?
Students will need to collect primary data for their independent investigation (see above). Data is collected during a residential trip to Swanage. Students will be expected to plan, carry out and analyse their own independent investigation under the guidance of the Geography Department.
If you have a lively mind, and would like to look at current issues and understand the world around you: we will welcome you on the Geography course. If you have any further questions do ask any member of the Geography Department. I would also recommend the AQA website for much more specific detail on the specification
The multi-skilled nature of Geography makes it an ideal vehicle to assist students in their development of the Key Skills. A few examples are listed below:
- Communication: • Oral presentations in class • Discussion and debate • Role play • Writing a coherent argument about an issue • Reading newspaper articles, specialist magazines and a variety of texts.
- Application of number: • Data analysis to comment on a real world issue • Planning fieldwork data collection • Interpreting your fieldwork data • Carrying out statistical analysis to make sense of your data. Geography involves the handling and interpreting a great deal of data but always in relation to a particular question or issue.
- Information Technology: • Using Geographic Information Systems. • Processing data using data handling packages. • Analysing and presenting information particularly for your fieldwork.
- Problem Solving. This is an important aspect of Geography. We have one whole module dedicated to the key skill of problem solving and decision-making.
- Working with others: There will be many situations in class where you have to co-operate with other students. The main opportunity that you will be given to ‘work with others’ is through fieldwork.
- Improving your own learning: • Listening to others • Thinking • Critically evaluating your own work • Critically evaluating the work of others
You will normally be taught by two teachers in Year 12 and 13. One will mainly teach you physical geography and the other human geography. (This may vary depending on timetable constraints)
The minimum requirement is that of entry into the sixth form.
Geography can be used as an entrance qualification for a wide variety of courses from Law to Environmental Management. You will be spoilt for choice if you wish to study Geography on its own! As well as ‘pure’ Geography degrees there are a wide variety of Geography related courses e.g. European Studies, Environmental Sciences, Urban Planning, Development Studies, Geological Science …….. and so on.
Geography graduates are very employable; in fact they have one of the lowest rates of unemployment for graduates. Employers like the range of skills they have to offer. The general areas of finance, management, marketing and administration have been the employment destinations of more than half of the Geography graduates in recent years. Environmental planning, teaching, information services, social services, creative and media appointments accounted for the majority of the remainder.
A recent growth area for geographers is helping companies with the area of sustainable development and environmental impact assessments.