A Level Geography

Social Sciences

Social Sciences
Social Sciences

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title A Level Geography
Code ALGe
Qualification Type GCE A/AS Level or Equivalent
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


Geography is highly valued by universities as an A Level choice. The Russell Group report published in 2011 names geography as one of the eight facilitating subjects. This is a subject most likely to be required or preferred for entry to degree courses and choosing facilitating subjects will keep more options open to you at university.


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 peoples resources, technology and culture. 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 be expected to participate in a residential fieldtrip during your study.

How will it be delivered?

Paper 1 (9GEO/01) 30% 2hr 15mins. This paper assesses students on physical geography including

  • Tectonic processes
  • Landscape systems
  • Processes and change
  • Coastal landscapes
  • Water security and Energy security

The examination may include short open, open response and resource-linked questions, including 12-mark and 20-mark extended writing questions.

Paper 2 (9GEO/02) 30% 2hr 15mins. This paper assesses students on human geography including;

  • Globalisation
  • Shaping places
  • Superpowers and Global Development

The examination may include short open, open response and resource-linked questions, including 12-mark and 20-mark extended writing questions.

Paper 3 (9GEO/03) 20% 2hr 15mins. This examination will involve using a resource booklet about a geographical issue (Players, Attitudes and actions and Futures and uncertainties). The examination may include short open, open response and resource-linked questions. The examination includes 8-mark, 18-mark and 24-mark extended writing questions.

Non-examination assessment: Independent Investigation (9GE0/04)The investigation report is internally assessed and externally moderated. The student will produce a written report of 3000-4000 words.

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSE Grades 9 - 4 to include English & Maths; and Grade 5 or above in Geography.

Your next steps...

Geography combines well with both arts and science subjects. You may already be thinking ahead to potential university and career choices so it is worth bearing in mind that geography is a broad based subject that really fits well for your future progression. For example, for careers in sustainability and green issues, urban regeneration, energy supply, retail location, managing the effects of hazards and climate change, geography is an obvious choice. For careers in the world of business, an understanding of global economics forms an important part of geography. If you are thinking of a career in law, human rights, international relations or welfare then geography gives you the opportunity to consider relevant issues such as; How do we measure development? What are the consequences of migration on societies?

If you are working towards a future course in medicine or veterinary medicine then geography is a good choice to give your A Level options the breadth that universities seek, as you will gain a clear understanding of how the environment affects health and survival of people, animals and ecosystems as well as enhancing your skills of writing essays and extended reports.

Of course many A Level students do not yet have a clear idea of what kind of career they might want to pursue. If you are in this position, remember that geography as an A level gives you the chance to keep your options open as it covers both arts and science components.