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GCSE Geography

Is it compulsory?

No (Recommended as one of EBACC suite of subjects)

No, this is another of your free options but it is advisable that a ‘Humanities’ option is chosen (History or Geography) if you are considering an academic route to University in the future as part of the proposed English Baccalaureate.

What will I be studying during the course?

We will be following the AQA Geography Specification 8035.  The content covers three divisions of Geography as follows:

Paper 1:  Living with the physical environment 35% of the full course

  • Natural hazards (earthquakes and volcanoes, weather hazards and climate change)
  • The living world (tropical rainforest and extreme environments)
  • Physical landscapes (coastal, and river landscapes)

Style of Assessment – 1 hour 30 minutes exam.

Paper 2:  Challenges in the human environment 35% of the full course

  • Urban issues and challenges (change in cities and migration)
  • The changing world (development and globalisation)
  • The challenge of resource management (water and energy)

Style of Assessment – 1 hour 30 minutes exam.

Paper 3:  Geographical applications 30% of the full course

  • Issues evaluation
  • Fieldwork (Students must complete 2 fieldtrips)

Style of Assessment – 1 hour 15 minutes exam.

What courses or employment can I progress to at the end of my course?

Geography can be studied for AS/A Level and degree levels.  It is also a qualifying subject for degree entry by itself and for more specialised area e.g. law, economics, construction management, leisure and tourism etc.  The list is vast.  Many qualified geographers work in business and management at various levels.  Over the years our students have gained so many skills and experiences during their GCSE geography course.  They can see the relevance of the course in the modern world as well as gaining insight into the formation of the landscape we live in.  The course covers social, economic, environmental and political aspects of our daily lives.  Students learn to investigate arguments, problems and issues. There is a huge take-up of students who go on to study geography A’ Level as a result of inspiration gained from their GCSE course.  Geography as a subject is a ‘field of knowledge’ which enables it to be classed as both an Arts and Science subject.  This makes it a perfect blend for whatever general direction a pupil wishes to pursue for further study whether it be in the Arts or Sciences.

Who do I need to see to find out more?

Talk to your geography teacher or Miss C Butler, Head of Humanities.

Routes to employment

Studying Geography enables students to develop a wide range of transferable skills including independent thinking, investigation, analytical and presentation skills, critical thinking, the ability to think about moral and ethical issues, team work, communication, project management and problem solving.

Students who have studied Geography go on to study a wide range of courses at college, sixth forms and universities within both the Arts and Sciences. For instance the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) states that for students who have studied Geography at A level and who are “working towards a future course in medicine or veterinary medicine then geography is a good choice to give your A Level options the breadth that universities seek, as you will gain a clear understanding of how the environment affects health and survival of people, animals and ecosystems as well as enhancing your skills of writing essays and extended reports”. According to the RGS, “in a recent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in 2018 placed Geography among the top subjects for graduate earnings”.

Students who have studied Geography have access to a very diverse range of careers and employment opportunities working in a variety of environments – such as working for central & local government in Town & Country Planning or Policy making, or for Environment Agency, the HM Armed Forces, careers in business, engineering, development and global issues, and in the travel & tourism industry, to name but a few.

Options – GCSE Geography FAQs

There is no setting! There are no longer foundation or higher papers – everyone sits the same paper.
Expect homework once a week from your teacher, consisting mostly of producing resources for revision. You can also expect consolidation tasks on Seneca or pre reading before a new topic.
You can expect a fair amount of writing from GCSE Geography, as with all GCSE subjects. Answering 9 mark question in a GCSE Geography paper for example can be upwards of a page of A4 in length.
Yes, you have to do both! Even if you prefer one of them, you will still have to learn about the other. Remember to not look at them in isolation, there is plenty of overlap.
Here is the breakdown of each paper, remember – it will be more detailed than this as you explore each topic in depth.

Head Teacher – Mr P Burke
The Fernwood School, Goodwood Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2FT
0115 9286 326 |
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