A Level Geography
Head of Department: Mrs. O. Bueno Lopez
Examination Board: AQA
Specification Code: 7037
Course Entry Requirement: GCSE Geography grade 7
Geography allows young people to engage with the dynamic, complex and controversial world in which they live. Students need to be able to understand and take a stance on the biggest issues the planet faces and the geography course at Freemen’s is modern and contemporary to prepare pupils for life in the 21st Century.
The A Level course follows on naturally from the GCSE course, with the familiar structure of physical and human geography. In physical geography, students will study global hazards, such as volcanoes, wild fires and hurricanes and how these are affecting the developed and developing world; the importance of water and carbon cycling through a study of the tropical rainforest and local river flooding; hot desert environments and the issues facing people living in deserts. Underlying the physical course is the concept of a changing climate. In the human course, students will study globalisation, and the impacts of transnational corporations; Place, and how people create and interact with places in the world; and the challenge of a globally increasing population. Whilst taught and examined separately, students are encouraged to consider the links between the physical and human world throughout the course. Students will also experience the world first hand through compulsory fieldwork including a 5 day residential trip. There are also several day trips to London and local areas.
The A Level comprises of two exams (physical and human), both 2 and a half hours long (and worth 40% of the A Level each), and a 4,000 word piece of assessed coursework (worth 20%) which follows on from a residential fieldtrip to Barcelona.
Who should study Geography?
Geography is unique in that it truly bridges the arts and science divide, offering a diverse and valuable skill set. Students will gain skills of analysis, interpretation, prediction, statistics, and the ability to link people, place and process- ‘thinking geographically’, or holistically about issues. The field trips enable students to work as part of a team, communicate, design and pursue a project, develop resilience through outdoor study and all these skills are of direct relevance to the demands of the workplace.
Higher education and careers:
As a real world subject that bridges the arts and sciences, geographers are consistently in demand by employers. The latest “what do graduates do” survey by HCSCS again identifies geography as one of the most employable subjects. In an increasingly globalised workplace the unique perspective offered by geographers is of value. As Sonja Stockton, Director of Talent at PricewaterhouseCoopers says “What global companies look for are people who we think can take a global perspective. Students are well placed to do this if they have taken opportunities to widen their cultural perspective”. By reflecting critically on people and places throughout the world, studying geography enables this.