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GCE A Level in Geography

Wilberforce Sixth Form College

Saltshouse Road, Hull, HU8 9HD

GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Level 3
Social Sciences

Course Summary

Why should I study this course?

The world around us is an interesting place which is always changing. The changes, whether caused by natural processes or as a result of human activity, are influencing the way we are able to live. Humans interact with the world in different ways, depending on needs and environmental restraints.

The A-Level Geography course investigates all this. Whether it be mitigating against the impacts of sea level change in coastal environments, dealing with the impacts of rapid urbanisation in urban areas, living with the constant threat of natural hazards or attempting to solve trade disputes between countries.

A Level Geography will also really make you think about how ‘our world’ works and it challenges your assumptions.

As part of the course, you will gain the ability to construct written arguments to questions and be able to offer a personal viewpoint. It will also develop your oral communication skills and improve your ability to analyse data, including statistical analysis. It is important that you have a genuine interest in the subject and keep up-to-date with current affairs relating to topic areas which are studied.

This course is for you if:

You are looking for an A Level with an excellent reputation with universities and employers, where you can also discover the world around you. This course will also allow you to study a really broad range of topics, fitting well with many other A Levels.

Course Details

What will I study?

Over the course, you will study 6 units which are equally spread across physical and human geography. The units are:

  • Changing Places
  • Coastal Systems and Landscapes
  • Contemporary Urban Environments
  • Global Systems and Global Governance
  • Hazards
  • Water and Carbon Cycles

What skills do I need?

  • The ability to communicate ideas in writing
  • A good mathematical ability to be able to understand data displayed in graphs and tables as well as being comfortable working with statistics
  • The ability to see that there is often more than one point of view
  • Complete tasks independently
  • A keen interest in the subject 

How will it be delivered?

How will I be taught?

In lessons and as independent activities, you will cover a range of units in which you will develop your understanding and appreciation of geographical concepts and build upon the knowledge you have gained at GCSE (if studied.) There are plenty of opportunities to participate in group discussions and debates, give presentations to the class on research which has been completed and complete fieldwork in a range of settings. This is just a taste of what is done.

Fieldwork is also an important part of the Geography course. We undertake a few day trips as well as a residential in the summer of Year 1. These fieldtrips allow you to observe theoretical concepts in action and allow for fieldwork techniques to be practiced and perfected ahead of data collection for the individual coursework project. Private Study

To succeed in Geography you will need to spend approximately 4 hours a week in private study.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed externally by AQA by the following:

  • A physical geography exam (2½ hrs)
  • A human geography exam (2½ hrs)
  • A coursework project (NEA) (4,000 words)
  • The coursework project (NEA) is a piece of fieldwork designed, completed and written up on an individual basis. This allows you to specialise in an area of geography which is of particular interest to you, it doesn’t have to be from a unit we cover but has to be a topic area within the AQA specification. Further details of this are given in lesson time towards the end of Y1. What materials will I need to provide?

Private study

To succeed in Geography you will need to spend approximately 4 hours a week in private study, in addition to your core lesson time. This might involve doing research in preparation for an upcoming topic, a homework task on something covered, reviewing notes and information, or stretching yourself to learn more about a topic.

What materials will I need to provide?

Standard stationery items to ensure that your notes are nicely presented as well as being fully organised.

Entry requirements

Five 9 – 4 (A*- C) grades at GCSE including a GCSE grade 4 (C) in English Language and Mathematics. If you have studied GCSE Geography you should have achieved at least a grade 4

(C) in this subject.

If you are interested in joining the College, we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you choose a course programme that best suits your ambitions and


All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication, however, the College may need to make some changes in the light of student demand, staff availability and external factors

beyond the College's control.

Your next steps...

A Level Geography will allow you to progress on to a very wide range of degree course and gives you an excellent background for a career in the civil service, environmental management, meteorology, politics, hazard management and risk analysis, events management, town planning, estates management, geographical information systems, logistics, or travel.

Most universities and colleges of Higher Education offer degrees in Geography. These degree courses may focus on Human Geography or Physical Geography, or be a joint or combined course, which covers one or more other subjects as well.

Additional information

For more courses like this, check our courses page.