Geographers study interactions between people and the environment, including important contemporary challenges such as climate change, plastic pollution, weather hazards, migration crises and geopolitical conflicts, as well as traditional topics such as coastal processes and tectonic hazards. The course includes fieldwork in the local area and further afield. An overseas trip is also planned.
What you will study
At Wakefield College we study the Eduqas specification because it prepares you well for both the worlds of work and further study whilst also broadening your skills in areas such as numeracy, communication, analysis and evaluation.
The topics covered are listed below:
• Water and Carbon cycles
• Tectonic hazards
• Weather and climate
• Energy challenges
You will also complete a Non-Examined Assessment (coursework), which is an independent fieldwork investigation into an area of geography that you choose for yourself. This means you can ‘specialise’ in something you are particularly interested in.
During the first year, you will study approximately half of the topics outlined above, whilst developing geographical skills and fieldwork techniques. In the summer term, you will plan your independent investigation and begin to collect data for this.
In the second year you will complete your coursework report and study the remaining topics, building on the skills developed in the first year.
Trips, visits and guest speakers take place throughout the course, to correlate with the topics we are studying.
You will take three exams which total 80% of your grade, with 20% for the independent investigation.
All exams are at the end of the course and include:
• Terminology questions which require a precise definition
• Short-answer questions using a resource, such as a graph, photograph or map.
• Short answer questions requiring explanation or analysis.
• Skills questions where you make calculations.
• Short essays where you will evaluate, discuss or assess a point of view, action or issue.
• Longer essays which require you to undertake a more detailed examination of a topic.
5 GCSEs 9-4, including English Language and maths.
Geography A-level is one of the facilitating subjects for Russell Group universities, which may be an entry requirement for the university course you choose, whether related to geography or not. Therefore, studying geography, even if you are not sure of your next steps, will help to keep your options open. Geography A-level is particularly useful for the following types of university course:
• Sustainability and Environmental Policy
• Environmental science
• Anthropology and Archaeology
• Civil Engineering or urban planning
• Economics and Business
• Estate Management and Surveying
• Geology and Earth Sciences
• History or Sociology
• Human or Physical Geography
• Meteorology or Hazard Management
• Philosophy or politics
• Transport Studies
All aspects of business and industry need the skills you will gain during your geography A-level. Geography helps you to develop your numeracy and literacy skills as well as graphicacy (interpreting data and figures), cartography (map skills) and communication skills.
You will become more able to express your ideas and explain complex issues as well as debate both sides of an argument. The practical activities and fieldwork will help you to plan, carry out and draw conclusions from a project, whilst the study skills you learn will enable you to be self-managing and independent.