A Level Geography
Geography is about the past, the present and the future. It provides perspective and helps us to connect with the world around us.
Ms Hopkins (Teacher of Geography)
Exam Board: Edexcel
8 or more GCSEs at grades 9-4, as well as a minimum grade 6 in English Language, Mathematics and Geography.
Geography challenges opinions, broadens the mind and sharpens key skills. Few subjects can boast the same breadth and contemporary relevance
The specification has been designed to allow geographers the flexibility to build programmes that suit their own particular interests and needs using a range of approaches. Those geographers with interests in distinct physical, human and environmental approaches will be able to use this specification, as will those with more integrated specialisms.
Fieldwork is an essential part of the A Level course. In the specification students will experience different environments such as coastal, river or glaciated scenery as well as carrying out enquiries relating to issues in the local urban environment. At A Level students will be encouraged to frame their own questions to grasp complex issues through fieldwork investigation and report writing.
Geography students learn in a wide variety of ways such as by using maps, GIS skills, data analysis, photos, videos, podcasts, as well as attending lectures and study days. All units allow a balance between students’ own particular physical, human and/or environmental interests and key geographical topics that will provide the knowledge, understanding and skills for further study at higher education or for employment.
- Environment & Sustainability (for example, recycling manager or ecological campaigner)
- Science (for example, petroleum engineer, meteorologist or geologist)
- Agriculture & Land (for example, irrigation adviser, estate manager or agronomist)
- Planning (for example, town planner or transport planner)
- Surveying (for example, chartered surveyor or cartographer)
- Travel & Tourism (for example, outdoor activity centre instructor or tour manager)
- Education (for example, teacher or lecturer)
Entry & Training
A Geography degree can be either a BA or a BSc – depending on whether the focus is on Human/Social Geography or Physical Geography. As with all degrees, academics in universities have their specialist research interests and this will have some effect on the focus of the degree course, so it worth looking carefully at each university before you make your choice of destination. Geography degrees will often start broad, allowing you to cover a range of both physical and human units, before allowing you to focus down in your second and third year. The ability to combine degrees is also very common with options such as Environmental Policy with Economics, Geography & Archaeology, and combined Geography & Geology.
Universities that currently have a good reputation for Geography degrees include:
- St Andrew’s
- Royal Holloway
There are plenty of alternative routes into jobs with a geographical slant, including apprenticeships, although they might not be immediately obvious and it often requires applicants to be able to think laterally. For example, applying for a clerical role in a local government planning department might be a good first rung on the ladder.