Why choose A Level Geography

Students will be expected to have met St Paul’s entry requirements of 2 Grade 5’s and 4 Grade 4’s. A minimum of grade 4 in English and Maths is essential for all courses.

Year 12

Unit One: Physical geography. This unit will cover the major stores of water and carbon at or near the Earth’s surface and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. These are major elements in the natural environment and understanding them is fundamental to many aspects of physical geography. Life depends on balance in the water and carbon cycles. Students will contemplate the magnitude and significance of the cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations. Students will have the opportunity to exercise and develop geographical skills including observation, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills including those associated with and arising from fieldwork. Students will also focus on coastal zones, which are dynamic environments in which landscapes develop by the interaction of winds, waves, currents and terrestrial and marine processes. They should develop an appreciation of the diversity of coasts and their importance as human habitats.

Unit Two: Human geography. This unit will examine the changing nature of places. Students will focus on people’s engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they ascribe to them which are of fundamental importance in their lives. Students will research and investigate both near and far places, looking at the challenges and opportunities presented by contrasting locations, with the chance to develop practical research and fieldwork skills. Students will also study globalisation and global governance. They will consider the economic, political and social changes associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of global economy and society in recent decades.

Year 13

Unit One: Physical geography. Students will study natural hazards. There will be a focus on the lithosphere and the atmosphere, which intermittently but regularly present natural hazards to human populations, often in dramatic and sometimes catastrophic fashion. By exploring the origin and nature of these hazards and the various ways in which people respond to them, students are able to engage with many dimensions of the relationships between people and the environments they occupy. Hazards studies will include earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, tropical storms and wildfires.

Unit Two: Human Geography. This unit will focus on population and resources. Students will focus on the continuing growth of human populations, associated with economic development and changing lifestyles, which continues to be one of the defining features of the present era. They will explore the relationships between population numbers, population health and wellbeing, levels of economic development and the role and impact of the natural environment.

Unit Three: Geography investigation.

Students are required to undertake an independent investigation, and this must incorporate a significant element of fieldwork. There will be opportunities to develop related skills through a number of field trips.

Assessment Board:

Two papers both 2 ½ hours long worth 80% of A-Level covering year 12 and year 13 topics, and a geographical investigation, 3000 – 4000 words, worth 20% of A-Level.

Many students who do Geography at A-level use their qualification to do a degree in Geography or a related subject. Besides teaching, A-level geography is required for a number of careers, including research, science-based careers and environmental based careers. Example degree courses include Archaeology, Earth Sciences, Economics, Geography, Geology, International Relations, International Development, Leisure and Tourism, Oceanography and Politics.

Careers you could consider include Town Planner, Data Analyst, Environmental consultant, teacher, Cartographer, Nature Conservation Officer, Surveyor and many more.

For further information, please contact

Mr Ostler (mostler@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk) or

Mrs Hallam (ahallam@st-pauls.leicester.sch.uk)