A-Level Geography

Exam Board: AQA

Geography at A-level builds on the foundations of Geography at GCSE to challenge perceptions and stimulate investigative and analytical skills. The units of traditional Geography are joined by new contemporary topics that reflect the world around us today. The course will contribute to the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm sought by higher education and employers.

Subject content

You will study aspects of both physical and human geography. Topics covered are Hazards, Coastal Systems and Landscapes, Water and Carbon Cycles, Changing Places, Contemporary Urban Environments and Global Systems and Global Governance. The course includes a compulsory 5-day residential visit. This forms part of the data collection for the independent investigation.

Learning methods

You will learn in a variety of different ways including group work, independent research, geographical questions, class discussion and video clips. Students will be allocated a coursework mentor during Year 13. Students will meet with their mentor to receive support and guidance with their independent study.

For the hazards module you will focus on the lithosphere and the atmosphere, which intermittently but regularly present natural hazards to human populations, often in dramatic and sometimes catastrophic fashion.

For the human side of the course you will study globalisation—the economic, political and social changes associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of global economy and society in recent decades.

The changing places module focuses on people’s engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they ascribe to them, all of which are of fundamental importance in their lives.

In the contemporary urban environment module you will focus on urban growth and change which are seemingly ubiquitous processes and present significant environmental and social challenges for human populations.


At A-level there are two 2 hour 30 minute exams worth 40% each and an individual geographical investigation project worth 20% of the qualification.

Where can it lead?

Geography is a very versatile A-level choice combining well with science or humanities subjects. It is highly regarded by Higher Education establishments and is one of the facilitating subjects Russell Group universities recommend you to study to leave a wide range of doors open for Higher Education. Graduates go on to have a wide range of careers in a number of different sectors including environmental management, international development, area government, business and education.