Curriculum – Geography

Why Study A Level Geography?

The A Level geography course will cover both the physical and human environments and the complex interaction of processes that shape our world. It will also, importantly, show the applied side of the subject – how human intervention affects the environment and how people adapt and mitigate the effects of processes on their environment. This is complex and dynamic and varies from place to place depending on people’s resources, technology and culture. There is plenty of room for discussion and extended research which will help you become an independent thinker and learner.

At the end of the two years the course will be assessed by three external examinations and one written piece of independent investigation. You will also be required to go on a mandatory fieldtrip for the exam element of this course and the independent investigation.


A Level Edexcel Course Content

Paper 1 (2 hours 15 minutes) will consist of the following;

  • Tectonic environments and coastal processes
  • The Water cycle and Water Insecurity
  • The Carbon cycle and Energy Security

This constitutes of 30% of the total A Level mark.


Paper 2 (2 hour 15 minutes) will consist of the following;

  • Globalisation
  • Shaping Places including one sub topic which will be Rebranding Places
  • Superpowers
  • Global Development and connections including one sub topics from Migration, Identity and Sovereignty or Health and Human Rights

This paper constitutes of 30% of the total A Level Mark.


Paper 3 will be an externally synoptic exam covering three synoptic themes from players, attitudes and actions and futures and uncertainties. Students will be given a pre-release booklet in the exam, which will contain information about the geographical issue. This paper will constitute of 20% of the total A Level Mark.


Coursework: Independent Investigation (20% of the final A Level Mark)

This investigation will be 3000-4000 words. The students will define the student define a question or issue for investigation, relating to the compulsory or optional content. The topic may relate to any aspect of geography contained within the specification.

The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and ow research and/or secondary data.

The fieldwork, which forms the focus and context of the individual investigation, may be either human, physical or integrated physical- human

The investigation report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing.


Further Reading

Development. Nagle, G.

Development, Globalisation and Sustainability. Morgan, J.

Economic Activity and Change. Sheppard, P.

Human Impact on the Natural Environment. Goudie, A.

World Guide, 10th Ed.

A Globalizing world? Culture, Economics, Politics, Routledge / OU Press, 2nd edition (Held,D. (ed) 2004

Geographies of Globalization, Murray, W.E. 2006, Routledge

Spaces of Social Exclusion, Routledge Gough, J., Eisenschitz, A. and McCulloch, A. 2006

The Great Divergence: China, Europe and the Making of the Modern World, Economy Pomeranz, K. 2000

Green Development: environment and sustainability in the Third World Adams, W.M. 2001, Routledge, 2nd edition

Poverty and Development into the 21st Century, Allen, T. and Thomas, A. (eds) 2000, Oxford University Press

Making Development Geography, Lawson, V. 2007, Hodder Arnold, London

Energy and Climate: How to achieve a successful energy transition, Alexandre Rojey, April 2009

Politics of Climate Change, Anthony Giddens, March 2009

Understanding Environmental Issues, Steve Hinchliffe January 2003

Coasts and Coastal Management. Hill, M.

Hazards. Skinner, M.

Hazards and Responses. Bishop, V.

Nature of the Environment. Goudie, A. 2003, Hodder Arnold

Volcanoes Francis, P. and Oppenheimer, C. 2004, Oxford University Press


Exam Board: Edexcel

Disclaimer: The information on this page is to be used as guidance only. The course availability and content is subject to change based on demand and time-tabling.

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