Curriculum – KS5 Geography

About this subject

Examination Board: Edexcel

Units Taken: Dynamic Landscapes, Dynamic Places, Physical Systems & Sustainability, Human Systems & Geopolitics.

Link to Specification: Click here.

Course Content

The course is split into four areas of study at A Level, which is taught over Year 12 and 13.
Students are assessed by completing an independent investigation (coursework) in Year 13 related to their Barcelona field trip (and three exam papers at the end of Year 13, which draw on content from the following areas of study:
Year 12: 
Area of Study 1: Dynamic Landscapes.
Tectonic Processes and Hazards and Glaciated Landscapes.
This area of study looks at hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and secondary hazards such tsunamis and how they represent a significant risk in some parts of the world. An in-depth look at glacial processes also enables students to gain an in depth understanding into how glaciated landscapes are formed and how humans present a range of threats to these environments. Students are encouraged to think critically about how we can adapt to these threats and manage them in the future.
Area of Study 2: Dynamic Places.
Globalisation and Regenerating Places.

This area of study focuses on the concept of globalisation, looking at how it has influenced the world’s economy and how as a planet, we are becoming increasingly interconnected. Students will also examine how both urban and rural areas have been regenerated and rebranded.

This area of study includes a residential fieldwork investigation (currently Barcelona, Spain).

Year 13:

Area of Study 3: Physical Systems and Sustainability.
The Water Cycle & Water Insecurity, the Carbon Cycle and Energy Security, Climate Change.

With the global population continuing to grow rapidly, pressure on key resources such as water and energy are of increasing concern. Managing these resources and developing sustainable solutions to the issue of water insecurity and providing enough energy to sustain our standard of living are of real importance. Students also develop an in depth understanding of Climate Change in this area of study, as a central concept to understanding human impact on these natural cycles.

Area of Study 4: Human Systems and Geopolitics.
Superpowers and Migration, Identity and Sovereignty.

In Area of Study 4, students are given the opportunity to explore contemporary human issues. Analysis and evaluation skills are further developed, as students investigate the impact of global shifts in power and dominance. As emerging superpowers such as China and India increasingly influence the global economy and politics, students are able to understand the role of these superpowers in shaping our everyday lives. The challenges of migration are also explored, giving students the opportunity to debate and discuss the significance of migration and how this is changing our ideas and attitudes about national identity and who we are in the 21st century.

Skills Gained from Taking this Course

The main skills gained during this course are debating skills, reasoning and oratory skills, investigative skills, analytical and practical hands on fieldwork experience.

The fieldwork experience has many transferable skills particularly in the environmental fields and research. Skills development occurs through a series of lessons, fieldtrips, and lectures outside of school.

Students are encouraged to attend these in order to broaden their learning avenues and become more independent.

St Marylebone Entry Requirements

To gain entry into the sixth form at St Marylebone School, students must gain a minimum of five 9-6 grades at GCSE and a 5 grade in English and Maths GCSE.

Subject Specific Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in Geography GCSE and a grade 6 in English Language.

Entry Suggestions

Geography is suitable for students who:

  • Have an interest and concern for the environment
  • Are interested in current affairs
  • Enjoy studying a subject that is relevant to their own lives and experiences
  • Keen to be involved in outdoor fieldwork
  • Enjoy finding their own answers and solving problems
  • Want to broaden their AS and A level to cover both Sciences and Humanities
  • Enjoy travel and finding out about new people, places, landscapes and events.
  • Want to keep their options open for future careers – Geography is an appropriate qualification for a very wide range of higher education or career choices.

If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:

Revise Restless Earth and Globalisation using GCSE revision guide. This is particularly important if you haven’t previously studied this topic at GCSE. Keep a log of natural hazard events (earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms) that happen over the summer break.

Resources Needed for this Course:

A Level Geography for Edexcel textbook (title yet to be published) Approximately £20 (price to be confirmed upon publication)

Field Trip to Barcelona (£500 paid in instalments)
This fieldwork trip is specifically designed to support Area of Study 3 and the Year 12 coursework investigation, and is run and taught by specialist teachers at the Barcelona Field Studies Centre. Students will gain essential skills in fieldwork technique, and be able to experience first-hand, both urban and rural rebranding in Barcelona city centre and Priorat, as well as the flash flood hazard of Riera de Ribes.