AQA A level Geography

Sandbach College

Why study this course?

Geography is a broad based academic subject which will open up options for you in your future. Employers and universities see geography as a robust academic subject rich in skills, knowledge and understanding. As a subject linking the arts and the sciences it is highly flexible in terms of what you can combine it with, both at GCSE and A Level. If you choose to take geography on to university there are literally hundreds of courses to choose from and the range of career areas accessed by graduates of geography will probably surprise you

Whilst studying A Level Geography, you will find yourself developing certain skills, some transferable, and others relevant to the field of study. In terms of transferable skills, you will enhance your communication, teamwork and time management skills. You will also gain a better understanding of the world we live in, the research methods used in geography and how to analyse the results.

Geography is highly valued by universities as an A Level choice, and combines well with both arts and science subjects. It can be a facilitating subject - that is a subject most likely to be required or preferred for entry to degree courses. Choosing facilitating subjects will keep more options at the university-level; geography opens doors to other degrees such as business and administrative studies, law, engineering and technology, and the other social physical sciences.

Sandbach College at Sandbach High School Entry Requirements

We ask that all students achieve grade 4 or equivalent (a Level 2 pass) in at least 4 subjects, alongside the following subject specific entry requirements:

  • Grade 6 in GCSE Geography

What will I learn on this course?

A Level geography offers a selection of new, interesting topics not covered at GCSE level, and allows you to go into greater depth in some key elements previously studied. It covers both the physical and human environments and the complex interaction of processes that shape our world. You will also learn about 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.

There is plenty of room for discussion and extended research, which will help you become an independent thinker and learner. By the time you get to your exams, you will be able to show your understanding of a range of opinions and be able to illustrate your answers with case studies from local, national and international examples.

You will learn in a wide variety of ways, using maps, GIS skills, data analysis, photos, videos, and podcasts, as well as attending lectures and study days. You will be encouraged to frame your own questions using higher level thinking skills and show your grasp of complex issues through report and essay writing. Fieldwork will be an essential part of your A Level course.

We follow the AQA course which contains:

Coastal landscapes

Changing places Hazards

Contemporary Urban Environments

Water and the carbon cycle

Globalisation and Global Governance

NEA – Independent fieldwork project

Examinations & Coursework

There are two written exams – Physical Geography and Human Geography, these make up 40% each of the course. Students also undertake a NEA which is an exciting independent investigation of a topic of choice related to the syllabus. This investigation is around 3,000-4,000 words and marks up 20% of the final marks.

Enrichment opportunities

There are a range of opportunities such as leading Eco- club, supporting in KS3 lessons and attending field trips.