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Exam Board Specification: AQA

How the course is assessed

  • 40% Physical Geography Paper
  • 40% Human Geography Paper
  • 20% Internally Assessed Fieldwork Investigation

Description of course

During the Geography A Level you will explore the workings of the human and physical world’s and the interactions between them.

The physical paper consists of 3 sections- the water and carbon cycles, hot desert systems, and ecosystems under stress. You will be exploring how the water and carbon cycles operate in different environments including tropical rainforests and river basins, and you will be developing an understanding of the effects of these on human life. Hot desert systems will allow you to understand how physical processes lead to the formation of landscapes, and you will understand the opportunities and challenges these pose for people. Ecosystems will allow you to explore the impacts of nature on people and vice versa.

The human paper also consists of 3 sections- global governance, changing places and resource security. Global governance will explore the ways in which places across the world are linked, and how power is distributed unevenly between places. During changing places we will be examining how people’s experiences of places change with regard to people, food, arts and culture, and what the impacts of this are on people’s lives. Resource security explores the uneven distribution of resources such as water and oil across the world, the reasons for this and the conflicts that result from this.

Over the course you will carry out four days of fieldwork, one of which will form the basis for your examined investigation. You will choose the focus of your investigation which can come from any element of the course and write up your investigation in around 4000 words.

Higher education, future careers and progression routes

Geography is an excellent route into any higher education course due to the variety of skills that it develops and graduates with geography degrees are statistically more likely to find employment than graduates with any other degree.

There are many specific careers that are related to Geography including urban planning, meteorology, development agencies, government advice, risk analysis and conservationist. However, the skills that you develop in geography mean that you are considered a strong candidate for any job, even if it is not directly related to Geography. Many people I know who have gone on to become accountants, nurses and supermarket managers amongst other things have found their Geography A Level to be useful.

Examination success rates:


100% pass rate

A*-B 80%
A*-C 80%

Entry criteria:

Students must meet the Consortium minimum entry criteria for A Level courses, that is, a GCSE grade 4 or higher in English Language, grade 4 or higher in Maths (point score of 46 or higher).

To study A Level Geography, students are also required to have a GCSE grade B/5 in Geography or a grade 5 in English Language if no GCSE.

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