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GCSE Geography

GCSE Geography at St Edmund’s is an exciting, relevant course, which explores a balanced framework of physical and human themes, whilst developing a global perspective.

Students explore case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs).

Topics of study include:

  • Climate change
  • Poverty
  • Deprivation
  • Global shifts in economic power
  • The challenge of sustainable resource use

As part of the course, students attend two separate day trips in the UK to investigate physical and human processes. The cost of the trip is added to termly bills; please enquire for further information.


Head of Department Mr P Bittles
Syllabus AQA 8035 (9-1)


Units of study

Living with the physical environment

Discover more about the challenge of natural hazards and the living world, physical landscapes of the UK and human interaction with them.

This unit develops an understanding of the tectonic, geomorphological, biological and meteorological processes and features in different environments. It provides you with the knowledge about the need for management strategies governed by sustainability and consideration of the direct and indirect effects of human interaction with the Earth and the atmosphere.

Challenges in the human environment

This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally.

You will develop an understanding of the factors that produce a diverse variety of human environments; the dynamic nature of these environments that change over time and place; the need for sustainable management; and the areas of current and future challenge and opportunity for these environments.

Course structure

There are three written examinations.


Paper 1: Physical environment 1.5 hours (35%)
  • Challenge of natural hazards
  • The living world – ecosystems, rainforests and deserts
  • Physical landscapes of the UK – rivers and coasts
Paper 2: Urban issues and challenges 1.5 hours (35%)
  • Changing economic world
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • Challenge of resource management – food
Paper 3: Issue evaluation 1.5 hours (30%)

Based on pre-released resource booklet which students access 12 weeks before the examination date.

  • Fieldwork-based on two geographical enquiries, collecting primary data in contrasting environments during the two field trips.
  • Geographical skills – based on the use of maps, graphs and statistics.
Choose GCSE Geography and you will learn how today’s world was shaped and understand the challenges we face in the future. You will also examine the Earth’s natural resources and the increasing battles between the man-made and natural worlds.

Future paths

GCSE Geography develops skills, knowledge and an essential curiosity about the world we live in. These are sought-after transferable skills in both further education and the workplace.

As geographers, you will develop ability in systems thinking which is recognised by educators, entrepreneurs and employers as one of the most valuable skills for the 21st century.