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GCE AS/A Level Geography

Programme Description

Geography is the key to understanding places and people. It helps us to make sense of our own lives in the world and face vital issues like coastal erosion; plastics pollution; climate change; declining energy supplies; poverty and conflict. It encompasses physical, human, geo-political and spatial/GIS perspectives on the world and the changing landscape and borders.  It is also a practical subject, teaching students many transferable skills including; identifying patterns, analysing data, using statistics, understanding different perspectives, map-work, surveying; solving problems and critical thinking.

Students have the opportunity to study Geography through regular fieldwork experiences. Students study Bristol’s changing independent and cultural districts. We spend three days on a residential field visit to Dorset; climbing and walking over coastal cliffs and arches and learning about the relationship between the landscape, the unlying geology and land management. In the Second Year, students complete a piece of coursework (20%) giving them the opportunity to study a variety of topics such as, beach litter and water pollution; coastal management, or the impact of migration on retail spaces.

Programme Features

Students develop knowledge and understanding of the world at local, regional and global levels. Students are made aware of the importance of sustainable development Geography provides an understanding of the inter-relationship between humans and the physical environment Geography enables students to participate in the learning process through fieldwork and practical work Geography can support a personal sense of citizenship and the ability to make informed judgements through critical and sensitive study with awareness of others Geography enables students to develop their own values and understanding of the views and perceptions of people involved in decision making processes especially those associated with the use and management of resources and environment.

Progression & Employment

Successful geography students have gone to study Geography at Cambridge, Exeter, Queen’s Belfast, Bristol, Lancaster and Plymouth Universities. They have gone on to study International relations at Queen Mary University, London; Urban Planning at Cardiff University; and Geology and Geography at Aberdeen and Aberystwyth Universities. Students with a Geography degree have secured jobs in town and city planning departments, oil and gas companies, land surveying, transport agencies, the Environment Agency/Natural Resources Wales, and overseas charities like Oxfam. Careers leading from a Geography Degree include river management; coastal management; flood defences; conservation; development worker; event management; logistics; accountancy; National Park wardens

In 2017, one of our MAT learners achieved A* in Geography, A in World Development and A* in Government and Politics. In his application to Cambridge University, he was supported by the Geography teacher to prepare for his Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) exam and was given practice interviews in preparation for his university interview. He is in his second year of studying Geography at Cambridge University using the skills, knowledge and understanding he developed with us.

2018 AS Geography A to C 100%                                A2 Geography A* to C 100%

2018 A Level Geography - A* to B 72%

Programme Content


AS Level - Year 1


In your first year of studying geography, you will explore coastal process, landforms and management and looking at changing places, giving a balanced approach to physical and human geogrpahy and the relationship between people and the environment, the physical processes in which we live.  There are fieldtrips and residential fieldtrips to help students make the links between what is studied in class and how it is in the real world.  We also develop essential geographical skills which will be built upon further, in Year 2. 


A2 - A Level - Year 2

Year 2 is so relevant to the geo-political world we are in today.  The topics covered help us explore global systems and governance - which often lead to issues and disputes which cross borders.  We use analytical skills to attain a deeper understanding of issues such as natural disaster response, pollution of our oceans, food and energy security etc..  Current and relvant to us all and which will influence our place of work, our families and relationships with countries all over the world. 


Programme Assessment

AS Level - Year 1

Unit 1 Coastal landscapes 24% written exam

Unit 2 Changing places 16% written eam

A2 - A Level - Year 2

Unit 3 Global systems and global governance (water cycle, carbon cycle, ocean governance and migration) 24% written exam

Unit 4 Contemporary themes in Geography (Development in Sub Saharan Africa, Energy dilemmas and tectonic hazards) 16% written exam. 

Unit 5 Independent Investigation 20% coursework - fieldwork and some controlled conditions

Programme Entry Requirements

Normally students 16 - 19 years of age will require a minimum of 6/7 GCSEs at grades A* - C.

Cs in English Language, maths and sciences are essential.

GCSE Geography is prefereable. Students without GCSE Geography may be allowed to enroll on the course based on a discussion with the course lecturer first. Entry for mature students without formal qualifications is at the discretion of the Faculty.