Geography is a study of both the physical and human world and focuses on the earth’s landscapes, people, places and environments.


Geography uniquely combines natural sciences (physical geography) with social sciences (human geography) demonstrating how the physical world impacts on our daily lives. A level Geography requires 1 to 2 years of study depending on a student’s previous knowledge of the subject.

Board: CIE

Course content is delivered through a series of presentations, documentaries, seminars, practical map reading skills sessions and field trips.

Course Structure

Teaching begins in September (January for 18 month courses). In the first year you will cover the following topics:

The Physical Core
  • Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology
  • Atmosphere and Weather
  • Rocks and Weathering
The Human Core
  • Population
  • Migration
  • Settlement Dynamics

Students may take the AS exam at the end of the first year of the programme. The second year then builds on this foundation for the completion of the full A level. The following topics will be covered:

Advanced Physical Geography Options for Paper 2
  • Tropical Environments
  • Coastal Environments
  • Hazardous Environments

Candidates study two of the above topics.

Advanced Human Geography Options for Paper 3
  • Production, Location and Change
  • Environmental Management
  • Global Interdependence
  • Economic Transition

Candidates study two of the above topics.

Exam Structure

AS Exam Format

Paper 1
The Physical and Human Core
3 hours

A2 Exam Format

Paper 2 Paper 3
Advanced Physical Geography Options
1 hour and 30 minutes
Advanced Human Geography Options
1 hour and 30 minutes

Geography One-Year A level

The board, format and content are the same as the two-year programme, but the course is covered in the space of one year. The stand-alone AS papers would not be sat.


Programme Requirements

No prior knowledge is necessary, but a genuine interest in the subject would be expected. Where students have taken GCSE Geography, a grade C or higher would normally be required.

Related Further Study and Careers

Geography is a well-respected A level subject. It can be partnered with either humanities or science subjects, or a mixture of both. It prepares students for a variety of degree courses in a wide range of areas, such as social sciences, economics and politics. Indeed, part of its attraction is the way it has links with many disciplines. Geography might also be of interest to students who want to pursue degree courses related to environmental studies.

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