By studying geography you are able to see why and how the world that we live in changes. It is also a flexible subject in that it supports other subjects including the sciences, classical subjects, politics, history and modern languages.
A-Level Geography will also allow you to explore the impact that cultural, moral and spiritual issues and what influence these have upon geographical issues. This will allow you to recognise the values and attitudes of both individuals and societies and how these affect issues such as sustainability.
A specific arrangement of units is required for certification, made up of two AS-Level units and two A2 level units. You will study four units and the assessment for A-Level Geography is by coursework and exams.
Over the course, you will undergo at least 360 guided learning hours over a two-year period. These guided learning hours are levels set by the government on how much time the tutor at your sixth form or college has to be present to give guidance (such as lectures, tutorials etc.) towards your award.
Please note that there have been a number of changes to the A-Level Geography curriculum and changes are continuing. This means that some curriculum information may be unavailable, or subject to change.
- AQA AS-Level Geography
The Physical and Human Geography unit allows you to study rivers and flood management, hot, cold and coastal and desert environments. You will also study population changes food supply, energy and health issues. The second unit, Geographical Skills is an assessment based on your understanding of the first unit.
- Edexcel AS-Level Geography
The Global Challenges unit will explore global challenges and what these challenges mean, how they are caused, the impact of them and management of global challenges. The Geographical Investigations unit allows you a choice of study. You can choose one of the following physical topics of Extreme Weather or Crowded Coasts. You also choose one human topic of either Unequal Spaces, which explores rural and urban disparities or Rebranding Places that also focuses on urban and rural space.
- WJEC AS-Level Geography
Changing Physical Environments will develop your knowledge of climate and landform change. You will also learn how these changes are managed. The Changing Human Environments unit focuses on population change and changing settlements.
- CCEA AS-Level Geography
The first unit, Physical Geography allows you to develop fieldwork skills, including analysis and evaluation of data. You will explore physical processes and human interaction with them. This will give you the opportunity to use Geographical Information Systems. The second unit, Human Geography focuses on population settlement, development, demographics, rural and urban relationships and management of rural areas.
- OCR AS-Level Geography
The first unit, managing Physical Environments allows you to explore a number of environments, including hot, cold, river and coastal environments. The second unit, Managing Change in Human Environments will develop your knowledge around managing urban and rural change, energy issues and the growth of tourism.
- University of Cambridge International Examinations AS-Level Geography
The AS includes Core Physical Geography of hydrology and fluvial geomorphology, atmosphere and weather, rocks and weathering. The Core Human Geography includes population, migration, and settlement dynamics.
The A2 Geography is the equivalent of the second year of study of A-Level Geography. This is not a separate award. The A2 –Level Geography with the AS-Level Geography makes up the A-Level Geography. The A2-Level Geography will further develop your knowledge from AS-Level Geography.
- AQA A2 Geography
In the Contemporary Geographical Issues, you study one physical option that can be plate tectonics and hazards, weather and climate or ecosystems. You also study one human option that can be world cities, development and globalisation and conflicts and challenges.
For the final A2 unit, you can choose Geography Fieldwork Investigation that will allow you to carry out a fieldwork study or, Geographical Issue Evaluation which will allow you to demonstrate your analytical and evaluative skills of pre-released information.
- Edexcel A2 Geography
The Contested Planet unit includes water conflicts, energy security, biodiversity, superpower geographies, development gaps and technology. The Geographical Research unit allows you to study in detail one of a variety of topics, including cold environments, tectonic activity, food supply, cultural diversity, pollution or Leisure and Tourism.
- WJEC A2 Geography
The first A2 unit, Contemporary Themes and Research in Geography focuses on a contemporary theme of Human Geography and contemporary themes in Physical Geography. Within each of these, you have further choices of study. The Sustainability unit allows you to develop knowledge of the complexity of sustainability.
- OCR A2 Geography
The first unit, Global Issues offers you the opportunity to develop knowledge around Environmental issues such as ecosystems and climactic hazards, or Economic issues including globalisation and population and resources. The second unit, Geographical Skills, allows you to choose a question or hypothesis to research, then carry out the research, analyse and interpret your data.
- CCEA A2 Geography
The first unit will give you the opportunity to study two of three subjects in detail. These are Impact of Population Change, Planning for Sustainable Settlements or Issues in Ethnic Diversity. You will also study one specific Global Issue, such as nuclear power or air pollution.
The Physical Geography and Decision Making unit incorporates Physical Geography in which you will study two choices from Fluvial and Coastal Environments, The Nature and Sustainability of Tropical Ecosystems or The Dynamic Earth.
- University of Cambridge International Examinations A2 Geography
This will further develop your knowledge of AS content with Advanced Physical Geography and Advanced Human geography.
A-Level Geography Exam Board Information
- The AQA A-Level Geography specification is available on the AQA website.
- The specification for the WJEC AS and A-Level Geography is available here.
- The CCEA AS-Level and A-Level Geography specification is available on their website.
- The Edexcel A-Level Geography specification is available from their website.
- The specification for the OCR AS and A-Level Geography is available here.
- University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level Geography specification is available from this website.
Most people study A-Level Geography so that they can study Geography at university. A number of universities offer a BA Geography, which is human-based geography, or a BSc, which is physical Geography. There are many Geography-based subjects available, including Geology, Oceanography and Archaeology.
Geography also has many transferable skills that are useful in any employment or career. These include being able to use Geographical Information Systems as well as data analysis and evaluation skills.
Other Useful Information
- Edexcel past papers and exemplar materials are available on their website.
- AQA past papers and other resources for A-Level Geography are available on the AQA website.
- Past papers and for the CCEA AS and A-Level Geography are available here.
- OCR past papers are available on their website.
- WJEC have a variety of specimen assessment materials and student resources that include study guides.
- University of Cambridge International Examinations A-Level Geography question papers are available here.
- This site offers links to other Geography resources.
- QuarryEd offers a selection of AS and A-Level Geography Resources.