Geography A Level

Course Description

Our amazing world is explored throughout this course; from human populations to the impacts of global warming; from destructive natural hazards to man-made future challenges! Geography studies and examines the environment around us, how it affects us, and most importantly, how we can live on our planet in a sustainable way.

Entry Requirements

Students studying four A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of 6 GCSEs at grade 7, 8 or 9 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 6 or above. Students studying three A Levels will be expected to have a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 6 and three GCSEs at grade 4 including English Language and Mathematics at grade 4.

Course Content

First year : A varied and interesting introduction that has a balance of human and physical geography which also explores the links between the two disciplines. Key topic areas covered include dynamic landscapes. Featured here is how our local and global landscapes are shaped and changed by tectonic processes and hazards and coastal processes and landscapes. Human topics consider the increasing globalisation and global interdependence of business and people and the resulting inequalities. Linked to this is the regeneration of local places and the associated economic and social change. All topics are underpinned by fieldwork and the study of local, national and international case studies. Students collect data for their personal studies in Year 1.

Second year: Developing some of the content of year one to examine key themes and what this means for global solutions and our future world. Three key themes are the ‘players’ involved in decision making, attitudes and action and futures and uncertainty. These themes offer excellent opportunities to delve deeper into topics and debate key issues and solutions. There is also an individual investigation to complete on a topic area of your choice . This is based around fieldwork and research followed by independent analysis and evaluation of data and extended writing. The investigation accounts for 20% of the overall A Level qualification and will be completed by October in Year 2.

The course requires students to undertake a minimum of five days compulsory field work which may be conducted as single day visits or residential trips. You should not choose this subject if you are not prepared to this mandatory requirement. The cost of the field trips are met by the College.


The assessments will comprise of three final examinations that are all 2 hours 15 minutes in length.  Paper 1 (Physical) and Paper 2 (Human) are both 105 marks.  Paper 1 covers Hazards, Coasts and Water/Energy.  Paper 2 covers Globalisation, Superpowers, Regeneration and Migration. Paper 3 which includes a detailed resource booklet is 70 marks.  There are a variety of styles of questions, ranging from short data-linked analysis questions to extended evaluative essays.

Enrichment and Work Experience

The geography course has a compulsory fieldwork element.  All costs are met by the College. The fieldwork usually comprises of a 3 day trip to the Holderness Coast and Scarborough. The students will collect data relevant to their exams and fieldwork studies, and also learn first-hand about the environment and processes that have been taught in the classroom.  In addition to this, there is a 1 day fieldtrip to Manchester to study aspects of regeneration.  Dates of all trips will be provided at the start of the course.  Previous students have secured work placements with relevant organisations such as Rochdale Council's Planning & Environmental Departments.  Students have the opportunity to attend relevant conferences and we regularly have visits from exam board staff to support preparation for examinations.

Additional Information

Students will be provided with all details regarding requirements of the course, such as the fieldtrips.  The college will cover all costs of fieldtrips, including transport, accommodation and breakfast and evening meals (some pocket money for lunch will be needed).

Links with other subjects: Geography is a traditional subject that links well with many other subjects, especially those that include essay writing and analytical skills (for example History, Religious Studies, Sociology, English, Law, Media), as well as subjects that involve the analysis of information (for example Sciences, Psychology).

Future Career Opportunities

Geography is a very investigative and analytical subject where problems and possible solutions are discussed and assessed. It is therefore very useful for the skills needed in a wide range of future careers, and is respected by all universities as part of the relevant A Level qualification for any university course or career path.

Why Study at BSFC?

Geography is a brilliant subject that is very varied and constantly changing. We study the Edexcel specification which focusses on current local and global issues. Our students have performed very well in this subject and many have decided to continue their geography studies at university.