GCE A Level Geography


2 Years for full A Level = 3 Examined units and an independent investigation


Edexcel Specification from September 2016. 
Further details are available from their website.

Entry Requirements/Student Suitability:

  • Students are required to reach the Wadebridge Sixth Form Level 3 entry criteria. 
  • Students need to be able and willing to undertake independent study beyond the classroom. 
  • Students should have an interest in global issues such as climate change, global hazards, globalisation, and the use of our world’s resources.
  • Students are also expected to attend fieldwork days in Year 12 and a Year 13 residential to support their independent investigation for A2.

Course Content:

Course Content for A Level Geography

Paper 1: Dynamic Landscapes & Physical Systems and Sustainability (30%)
Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
Topic 2: Coastal Landscapes and Change
Topic 5: The Water cycle and Water Insecurity
Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Paper 2: Dynamic Places and Human Systems and Geopolitics (30%)
Topic 3: Globalisation 
Topic 4: Regenerating Places
Topic 7: Superpowers
Topic 8: Health, Human rights and Intervention

Paper 3: Synoptic Investigation  (20%)
This examination will be of a geographical issue within a place-based context. It will be linked to at least two of the topics covered in the course.

Coursework: Independent Investigation (20%)
This is a non-examined component of the course which requires students to complete their own investigation report on any topic related to the course.  It must include fieldwork data and research. 

For further information and exemplar question papers see the exam board website.

Methods of Study:

  • Independent Research assignments
  • Fieldwork
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Investigating Case Studies
  • Practice exam questions

Independent Study Time:

A successful Geography student will have an interest in the world around them. They will be interested in topical issues at a local, national and global scale. Reading books, watching the news, researching and discussing topical issues will supplement and reinforce the work covered in lessons. Although there is no coursework, homework will be set on a regular basis ranging from short tasks to extended research tasks. Being able to work independently, manage time and organise notes effectively are skills that need to be developed.

Progression and the Future:

A-Level Geography compliments a range of other Level 3 subjects as it uses and develops a variety of skills.  Having a Geography A-level can be advantageous when applying for jobs in many sectors, such as environment and sustainability, physical systems, society, business, geographical techniques, development, global issues, travel, tourism, leisure and culture.  A-level Geography gives you a great knowledge into how things in the world function and work, on both a man-made and natural level. A huge range of universities require A-level Geography for their degree programmes, including Earth sciences, Geography, Geology, Archaeology, Oceanography, Leisure and Tourism, amongst others. Geography is also desirable for a number of other courses.  If you are wanting to take Geography at degree level you can opt for the physically based BSc in Geography or alternatively you can take a Ba in Geography that is mainly human based. Both of these courses cover human and physical contexts within the first year and there are options to be flexible and change between the two degrees at the first year.

Subject Contacts:

How to Apply:

The Application Process begins in February of each year.  Please contact Debbie Chick, Sixth Form Support for further information or to request an application form.

Click here for a printable version of this subject specification.


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