Exam Board: AQA

Course leader: Mr Hadland

Course name: A Level Geography



General Information

Geography helps us to understand the world we live in; how people and nature interact and influence how we live our lives. Geographers have a deeper understanding of their place in the world and of the complex connections that link us all together.


Course Outline


Year 12

AS Geography content is divided into two sections – Physical and Human Geography. In core physical, candidates’ subject knowledge and understanding in key environments is developed. The compulsory rivers, floods and management unit relates to environments familiar with most, if not all, candidates and engages them in the study of the central role of water in landscape development and its management for human welfare purposes. The other three contrasting physical environments each present opportunities for studying distinctive sets of processes raising common themes of environmental impact, management, sustainability and citizenship.


In core human, fundamentals of population in human geography are addressed with an emphasis on change and development over space and time and their geographical implications. Optional elements are specified to give candidates the opportunity to engage with key themes of contemporary relevance with an emphasis on human agency and welfare and/ or sustainability aspects.


Unit 2 (Geographical Skills) is specified and examined in such a way as to engage candidates with a range of basic and more sophisticated geographical skills appropriate to the AS specification content.


Year 13

A2 Geography adopts an issues approach consistent with modern conceptions of the subject, its validity and utility. Concepts, themes and skills covered in AS are extended and developed in A2 in different settings with an opportunity and expectation of higher levels of cognitive and empathetic engagement. In Unit 3 (Contemporary geographical issues) each physical option involves study, at a variety of scales, of important and interesting themes and/or environments and engages candidates with notions of challenge for human populations. Each human option similarly engages candidates with important contemporary themes at a range of scales and should resonate with either their direct or media experience.


Units 4A and 4B are specified so as to provide contrasting approaches to extending and developing subject knowledge and understanding, and exercise geographical skills, whilst meeting the same assessment objectives. Unit 4A (Geography Fieldwork Investigation) casts candidates as active researchers with some responsibility for managing and reflecting on their own learning activities in relation to a topic of particular interest and/or for which there are particular study opportunities. In addition, candidates will be assessed on fieldwork skills. Unit 4B (Geographical Issue Evaluation) casts candidates as active researchers and evaluators of information using geographical knowledge and understanding and skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation to form measured views on complex issues which may be of considerable significance locally, regionally or globally.


Careers and Higher Education Opportunities:

Geography is a facilitating subject. The skills are highly valued by the red brick universities. Students with an A level in Geography will go on to degrees like Geography, Town planning, Environmental Sciences and Civil Engineering.


Extra-curricular enrichment opportunities

Students are supported through the course with a wide range of catch-up session and drop in classes where they can discuss classwork in more depth. Students will carry out field work and visit various field work sites during the course.