A Level Geography

What will be studied?

Geography is broad and compatible with all other subjects. The course is designed to inspire curiosity and challenge ideas. It will enable students to engage critically with real world issues and places, and to apply their geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around them. Students will grow as independent thinkers and as informed and engaged citizens, who understand the role and importance of geography as one of the key disciplines relevant to understanding the world’s changing peoples, places and environments.

A level

Paper 1 (Physical Geography) Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes 30% of the qualification

  • Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change – including optional sub-topic 2A: Glaciated Landscapes and Change or

2B:                Coastal Landscapes and Change

  • Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Paper 2 (Human Geography) Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes 30% of the qualification

  • Topic 3: Globalisation
  • Topic 4: Shaping Places – including optional sub-topic 

4A: Regenerating Places  or

4B: Diverse Places (Population, living spaces, tensions and managing cultural and demographic issues)

  • Topic 7: Superpowers
  • Topic 8: Global Development and Connections – including optional sub-topic 

8A: Health, Human Rights and Intervention or

8B Migration, Identity and Sovereignty

Paper 3 (Synoptic Issues) Written examination: 2 hours and 15 minutes 20% of the qualification

This is a synoptic examination based on a resource booklet that contains information about a geographical issue and incorporates ideas from a range of compulsory topics. It explores ideas of inequality, identity, globalisation, interdependence, mitigation and adaption, sustainability, risk, resilience and uncertain futures.

Coursework: Independent Investigation NEA: Non-Examined Assessment 20% of the qualification

Students complete an individual investigation (3000-4000 words) which must include data collected in the field. It must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

In all examinations, there is a mix of short and extended writing questions up to 24 marks.

In the first year, students study physical topics 1 and 2 and human topics 3 and 4. Fieldwork is assessed in Year 12 though topics 2 and 4.


A level: 4 days of fieldwork, both physical and human geography, this can be done locally or as part of a residential trip.

What next?

Statistics show that, compared with other subjects, geographers are among the most employable. Many employers prize the knowledge and skills that studying geography can provide*. In whatever career path you choose, you will need to develop transferable skills and you will need to be flexible. Geography fosters these qualities and provides a firm base for life-long learning. Common career paths include: leisure and tourism, environmental conservation, town planning, finance and marketing, local government, or meteorology to name but a few. More recently, geographers are using their skills in the rapidly growing fields of green technology, environmental law and sustainable consultancy. Geography opens up a world of opportunity!

*Michael Palin, The Guardian 2011

Further Information:

If you need any further information about studying Geography, please contact:

Mr J Evans – jevans1@bluecoat.uk.com   or Mr M Collins –  Mcollins@bluecoat.uk.com

Contact Us

Bluecoat Sixth Form
Maid Marian Way

E-mail: BAAsixthform@bluecoat.uk.com
Tel: 0115 900 7215

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