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Geography A Level

The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before. Geography explains why and examines how we can prepare for these changes. Geography is about the environments we inhabit and some of the ways we use (or abuse) them.

Since Geography is partly a humanities subject and partly a science subject it is ideal for students following a mainly humanities programme who wish to have a small amount of science. Equally it is ideal for science students wishing to broaden their range of interests.

What does the course involve?

You will learn how natural processes shape landscapes and how human activity can change these natural processes. You will explore the concept of place, what makes places unique and why forces such as globalisation and geopolitical pressure can lead to constant changes.

During the course you will develop valuable cognitive skills including problem solving, literacy and data analysis; as well as many interpersonal skills like teamwork and communication. You will learn how to undertake field research, from the planning stage through collecting and analysing data to drawing conclusions.

Year One

Dynamic Landscapes

Tectonic Processes and Hazards
How plate tectonic processes are shaping the Earth's surface. Impact and management of tectonic hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.

Glaciated Landscapes and Change
Glacial geomorphology - studying how glaciers have shaped large areas of the Earth's surface. How glacial environments affect human activity.

Dynamic Places

The increasing interconnectedness of the world, socially, politically and economically.

Shaping and Regenerating Places
Rural and urban regeneration programmes change places and our perception of them with varying degrees of success.

Year Two

Physical Systems and Sustainability

The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
Hydrology - studying how the global water cycle operates as a system and impacts on human activity. How water supply can be managed to reduce water insecurity.

The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
The operation of the global carbon cycle as a system with stores and fluxes. Impact of humanity's increasing demand for energy on the carbon cycle and climate change.

Human Systems and Geopolitics

Superpowers have significant impacts on the global economy, politics and the environment. The spheres of influence between superpowers changes over time and is frequently contested with geopolitical implications.

Global Development and Connections
Large scale international migration due to increasing globalisation is changing traditional definitions of national sovereignty, nation states and attitudes to national identity. Global governance has developed to manage these changes whilst national movements are challenging the dominant model of economic growth.

Coursework: Independent Investigation (20% of the qualification).

Students undertake some genuinely individual scientific research on any aspect of Geography they choose.

Please note: /404Certificate in Mathematical Studies must be studied alongside this course, unless you are also studying Mathematics or Statistics. 


Fieldwork is an integral part of the course. As well as making a number of local excursions you will also be expected to participate in a short residential course at the beginning of the second year. In 2022 this was to Snowdonia, at a cost of around £285.

What can you do after the course?

A Level Geography is highly regarded by both employers and Higher Education, including the prestigious Russell Group universities. In part this is because of the skills it helps you to develop, but also because you gain a knowledge and understanding of our planet.

It is a facilitating subject which can open the door to a wide range of degrees and careers options.


Jim talks about Geography at Hereford Sixth Form College