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 Hunt (Teacher of Geography)
Exam Board: Edexcel
8 or more GCSEs at grades A*–C, as well as a minimum grade B in English Language and Geography, or another Humanities subject.
Few subjects can boast the same breadth and contemporary relevance as Geography. Fieldwork and research skills are a key feature of units at both AS and A2. All units allow a balance between students’ own particular physical, human and/or environmental interests and key geographical topics.
Geography is another key facilitating subject as identified by the Russell Group, and according to research is one of the more recession-busting degrees, with graduates continuing to find employment when others struggle. It teaches you to view the world as an integrated system and that capacity to see all aspects of the world about you as interlinked, but distinctive, means that geographers are able to flex into a huge range of jobs which require a strategic and analytical approach. The capacity to evaluate and assess evidence and the breadth of the subject (from glaciers to gender politics) means that geography graduates are employable in a wide range of careers..
- 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.