What is Geography?

Geography is the study of our physical environment and the effect upon this of geographical processes such as erosion and glaciation. The subject examines contemporary debates and issues particularly related to climate change, natural forces, disease and food production. Students also study the concept of place and placemaking in human society, as well as the impact of global trade, migration, human rights, or borders upon placemaking.

Students develop field work skills and must undertake a fieldwork study visit leading to a fully researched, written investigation of 3,000 to 4,000 words.

How is it studied?

OCR A-Level Geography is taught within the two-year, five-term and one year A-Level programmes.

The course mixes geographical theory with its applications through set questions, case studies, and fieldwork skills. The aim is to give students a detailed understanding of geographical processes, the importance of place for human society, and the global impacts upon place and the human environment. There is also emphasis on understanding key debates in geography and building practical geographical skills. Climate Change and Hazardous Earth are studied within the ‘Geographical Debates’ unit.

AQA and Edexcel A-Level Geography are available as one year or two-term retake courses.

How is A-Level Geography assessed?

Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 Physical Systems 22% External Exam: 1 ½ hours
2 Human Interactions 22% External Exam: 1 ½ hours
3 Geographical Debates 36% External Exam: 2 ½ hours
4 Geographical Investigation 20% Field/Coursework

Exam Board: OCR


What do I need?

Prior study of Geography at GCSE or IGCSE is helpful but not essential, as the skills of the subject and knowledge are developed as the A-Level progresses. Students need a strong interest in the workings of the physical environment alongside preparedness to explore human interaction. An awareness that practical skills, data analysis and representation are all required is also needed.

What should I study with Geography?

Geography can be combined with a broad range of subjects. Many students combine Geography with Economics and History but it is also a strong combination with many other subjects.

What can I do with A-Level Geography?

Many students continue to university to study Geography, Geology, environmental subjects or Materials Science. Due to its human focus, Geography is also a good supporting subject for others such as Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, and Economics.

Questions about the course

Do I need to have studied Geography at GCSE?

No, as skills and knowledge are developed during the course. Prior knowledge will help, but is not essential.

Is Geography available as a One Year A-Level?

For A-Level Geography retake students, yes.