Geography

Studying Advanced Level Geography at King Solomon Academy

Why study Geography?

Ever wondered if climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of hurricanes?

If the world will be different when China becomes richer than the USA?

If Yellowstone’s super volcano ever erupt and wipe out half of human civilisation?

Geography is a dynamic, current, exciting subject that enables us to study our ever changing planet. We are in an exciting time of change both for the physical and human environments around us and as Geography pupils we can study these changes and their impact and answer difficult questions about our future. As we move into an uncertain global future we need skilled, creative thinkers with a strong background in global issues. We need Geographers.

What will we study at AS?

Ever wondered… Who are the winners and losers of Globalisation?

AS is split into two units: Global Challenges and Geographical Investigations. Global Challenge studies human and physical aspects that present challenges and opportunity to humanity, whether it is globalisation and its unfair impacts across the globe, or global natural hazards, specifically focusing on climate change and global warming, seen by many as our greatest environmental challenge. Geographical investigations allows you to develop vital fieldwork and research skills. Through a mixture of human and physical focused topics, you will plan and carry out your own fieldwork and write up your results in an exam.

How is our learning assessed at AS?

You will sit two exams at the end of your AS year: one for each unit. You are assessed on your understanding of 2 days of fieldwork. The papers are:

Paper 1 – Dynamic Landscapes (Tectonic Processes and Hazards, Coastal Landscapes and Change)

Paper 2 – Dynamic Places (Globalisation, Regenerating Places)

What will we study at A2?

Ever wondered…Will we ever fight world wars over water?

Your A2 year is split again into two units: Contested Planet and Geographical Research. Contested Planet considers a key issue in today’s world- the use and management of resources. You will study consumption patterns and the resulting stark inequalities between regions, countries and groups of people. Topics include Superpower Geographies, Biodiversity under threat and Water Conflict. The final unit, Geographical Research, allows you to push your research skills further. You will select your own research topic from a list of six and can start to specialise in physical and environmental geography, or more social and cultural aspects.

How is our learning assessed at A2?

Ever wondered…Will we ever fight world wars over water?

Your A2 year is split into four units: Dynamic Landscapes, Dynamic Places, Synoptic Assessment and Independent Investigation. In addition to the Dynamic Landscapes topics from AS level, you will study the water cycle and water insecurity, as well as the carbon cycle and energy security. Additional topics for Dynamic places include superpowers, global development and connections, and migration identity and sovereignty. The third unit is a synoptic paper that will test your ability to look at new sources and evaluate the potential solutions to an issue, using your knowledge and understanding from paper 1 and paper 2. The final unit, Independent Investigation, allows you to push your research skills further. You will select your own research question from one of the compulsory topics and can start to specialise in physical and environmental geography, or more social and cultural aspects.

Which subjects complement a study of Geography?

With its broad mix of human and physical aspects, geography goes with anything! Pupils often study it alongside a science, such as biology, but it also compliments other humanities or social sciences such as psychology.

What could I do next with an A level qualification in Geography?

Geography is considered a valuable qualification by employers and universities alike due to its breadth of skills and relevant geographical content. You would be well placed to take geography (or subjects such as geology, environmental science, town planning) at degree level but due to the skills such as team work and communication you will have developed, these could be transferred into courses as diverse as business, engineering or economics.

Which skills will I be developing through studying Geography?

Geography A level will provide a strong skill base to progress to an undergraduate course at university. You will develop advanced fieldwork and research skills, becoming confident in physical and human fieldwork methods and running your own investigations. You will develop vital communication and team work skills as the course lends itself to collaborative working. You will also develop the ability to write concise notes and exam answers - a valuable tool for post A level study.

Are there any extra-curricular opportunities to support my study of Geography?

A level Geography requires fieldwork elements throughout the two year course. There will be the opportunity to attend residential trips as well as smaller day trips and additional opportunities such as lectures and inviting in guest speakers. There is huge scope for working with university Geography departments, developing links with pupils and allowing you to see if Geography at degree level might be for you too!

What are the KSA requirements for entry onto the course?

You must have achieved at least a B grade in Geography GCSE. You should have an interest in global Geographical issues, which includes having an excellent grasp of current affairs.