Optional Subject

GCSE Geography

GCSE Geography Video

Why Study Geography?

Do you want to study a subject that is modern, stimulating, relevant to your life and practical? A subject in which you can achieve highly? If yes, then Geography is the subject for you! It is your world, so why not find out more about it?! Studying Geography will enable you to find out how the Earth works and the challenges we face in the 21st Century. Geography will give you a passport to understanding the world in which you live. You will get the opportunity to investigate a wide range of topics in this subject.

Note: Year 9 have already begun studying topics on this GCSE course and will continue to develop this into year 10.

Course Content & Development of Expertise

In Geography, you will be an active learner who will experience the subject in a variety of different ways, from constructing models to explain the formation of hurricanes to debating on whether the Malaysian Rainforest should be opened up to development. You will be expected to research information using a variety of different sources, make decisions on current and controversial issues and undertake two practical fieldwork enquiries. You will also learn to use information including maps and graphs.

You will study both Physical and Human Geography topics:

Living with the physical environment – Paper One

  • The challenge of natural hazards – volcanoes, earthquakes, weather hazards e.g. hurricanes, weather hazards in the UK, climate change
  • The living world – Ecosystems, tropical rainforests, cold environments
  • Physical landscapes in the UK – coastal landscapes and glaciated landscapes.

Challenges in the human environment – Paper Two

  • Urban issues and challenges – Studying city life in an NEE e.g. Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and in the UK e.g. Manchester, and also how cities can be sustainably developed.
  • The changing economic world – Studying development, population and the rising importance of NEE countries e.g. Nigeria. Studying the importance of the UK in the world economy.
  • The challenge of resource management – Studying the challenge of ensuring there is enough food, energy and water for the people of the world.

Geographical applications – Paper Three

  • Issue evaluation – A resource booklet is given before the exam to be studied and subsequently for students to answer questions about in the exam. This involves some statistical analysis using maths skills.
  • Fieldwork – Two compulsory fieldtrips are taken as there is a requirement for students to have conducted both physical and human fieldwork. These are currently to Cleveleys to study coastal management strategies (early in year 10) and to Salford Quays for Human Geography to study the urban regeneration which has happened to this former dockland to transform it into a media/cultural hub (later in year 10). The cost of these trips is low to cover coach transport only.

The skills you will learn are:

  • The ability to research and present information
  • The ability to use Graphs, Diagrams and Statistics to help analyse information
  • The opportunity to conduct practical fieldwork enquiries using the primary data collection skills.
  • The ability to work individually and collaboratively.
  • The ability to debate controversial and topical information

Career Pathways

Geography bridges the gap between the arts and the sciences and is particularly useful if you are thinking of a career in Retail, Business, Banking, Law, Politics, Accountancy, Marketing, Armed Forces, Media, Journalism, Relief/Aid Work, Travel and Tourism, Environmental Management, Surveying, Architecture, Police/Social Work, Education, Management, Land Management.

Qualification Information

Optional Subject

Qualification: GCSE Geography

Awarding Body: AQA

Entry Tiers: One Tier Grade 9-1


Assessment Structure

Paper 1: 35%: Living with the physical environment

Written paper, maximum 88 marks (35%).Topics examined at the end of Year 11. Duration of examination: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Paper 2: 35%: Challenges in the human environment

Written paper, maximum 88 marks (35%). Topics examined at the end of Year 11. Duration of examination: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Paper 3: 30%: Geographical applications

Written exam: maximum 76 marks. Topics examined at the end of Year 11. Duration of examination: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Geographical skills – will be examined in all three papers

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