Geography is the study of people and their interactions with the physical environment. With the human population expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, there is more pressure on the finite physical resources of the planet. Using a broad range of transferable skills you will investigate the impacts that humans have had on the planet, from a local to a global scale, and will assess the extent to which management of these systems can lead to a sustainable global future.

Course Outline

Component 1 – Changing Landscapes and Changing Places
• Coasts – 50% of the people on the planet live within 50km of the coast. This narrow zone where the land meets the sea exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium and you will investigate how this natural system develops through time (from minutes to millennia) and how people are changing the natural balance in the coastal system.
• Places – A place is a geographical space to which meaning has been given by people. Using examples from the UK you will investigate how and why urban and rural places are changing as a result of social, economic and political decisions.

Component 2 – Global Systems and Global Governance
• Water and Carbon Cycles – A study of these vital components of the natural environment will enable you to assess the ways in which human activities are having an impact on their natural balance. Flooding, drought and climate change are key global challenges in the 21st Century.
• Governance of the Oceans and Global Migration – Global geopolitics is a key theme in this topic that investigates the ways in which the oceans allow the transfer of people, goods and information on a global scale. We will investigate global patterns of human migration and assess the impacts on places from a local to a global scale.

Component 3 – Contemporary Themes in Geography
• Tectonic Hazards – Volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunami are natural phenomena that are often both exciting and catastrophic. Using case study examples you will study the causes, consequences and management of these geological hazards.
• Economic Growth of China – Since 1978 China has played an increasingly important role in global economic systems. You will investigate the causes of the economic rise of China and evaluate the impacts of this on the local and global environment and society.
• Ecosystems – Climate change is putting pressure on the plants and animals that we share our planet with. You will investigate different ecosystems (the Arctic, coral reefs, rainforests) to investigate whether we can sustainably manage these places for future generations.

Component 4 – Independent Investigation (Fieldwork)
• You must undertake a minimum of 4 days of fieldwork as part of the A Level Geography course. There will be many opportunities for local fieldwork, as well as an optional residential field-trip.
• Your fieldwork report will comprise 20% of the marks awarded for your overall A level grade. This will be an individual investigation and the report will be between 3000-4000 words. It will be marked by your teachers and moderated by the exam board.


Examination (80%) – Three exam papers with structured questions and essays
Coursework (20%) – One fieldwork report (Independent Investigation)
Examining Board – Edquas.

Special Entry Requirements

Students do not need to have studied GCSE Geography, but for those who have grade 4 (C) is essential. In addition, standard A level entry requirements apply.

Prohibited Options


Career and Progression Opportunities

Geography is one of the ten facilitating subjects that are helpful to gain entry into a Russell Group University. A Level Geography can be accepted as either a science or an arts subject at universities. The skills developed throughout the course are transferable and helpful in a number of careers including urban planning, environmental, water resource and transport management and many IT roles requiring an understanding of GIS patterns.


Fieldwork is a compulsory part of the A Level Geography course and the minimum requirement is for students to have undertaken 4 days of fieldwork investigation. Local fieldwork studies may be within walking distance of the college or can be accessed by public transport in order to minimise costs. Residential fieldwork is not compulsory, but enhances the learning opportunity of committed geographers. The approximate cost of an optional 8-day trip to France is expected to be in the region of £600.

This information is correct for September 2019 entry.

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Megan Bache

Megan Bache (pictured right) joined The Sixth Form College, Solihull from Langley School. She studied A level French, German and…

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