A Level Geography

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: Ms E Tucker, BSc (Hons) (Leeds), PGCE, Institute of Education, London
Email: etucker@stedmundscollege.org

This information can be also found in the download to the right of this page.


In Rhetoric I students will prepare for two examination papers:

Paper 1 – Physical Geography and People and the Environment

Paper 2 – Human Geography and Geographical Fieldwork and Skills

Coastal landscapes: Student engagement with subject content fosters an informed appreciation of the beauty and diversity of coasts and their importance as human habitats. A systems approach to study is used here.

Hazards: By exploring the origin and nature of hazards and the various ways in which people respond to them, students are able to engage with many dimensions of the relationships between people and the environments they occupy.

Changing Places: Students acknowledge this importance and engage with how places are known and experienced, how their character is appreciated, the factors and processes which impact upon places and how they change and develop over time.

Fieldwork: All students are required to undertake fieldwork in relation to processes in both physical and human geography. Students must undertake a minimum of two days of fieldwork during their AS course. Students will not be asked to hand in a completed enquiry although, for the examination, they do need to be familiar with all the stages of fieldwork-based enquiry.


At Rhetoric II, students undertake two examinations and one piece of independent coursework.

Half of the course content for A Level examinations is studied in Rhetoric 1 and will appear in A Level examinations also.

Physical Geography (Coastal Landscapes, Hazards and Water and Carbon Cycles)

Human Geography (Changing Places, Global Systems and Governance and Contemporary Urban Environments)

Water and Carbon Cycles: The content invites students to contemplate the magnitude and significance of the cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations.

Global Systems and Governance: Focuses on 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.

Contemporary Urban Environments: This section of focuses on urban growth and change which are seemingly ubiquitous processes and present significant environmental and social challenges for human populations.

Fieldwork and investigation: Students are required to undertake an independent investigation. This must incorporate a significant element of fieldwork. The fieldwork undertaken as part of the individual investigation may be based on either human or physical aspects of geography, or a combination of both.

Key Skills

Students will learn:

  • Map reading
  • Cartographic design
  • Graphic and diagrammatic design
  • Statistical analysis
  • Team work through fieldwork
  • Decision making
  • Analysis and evaluation
  • Simulation
  • Discussion and debate
Enrichment opportunities
  • During Rhetoric I students undertake two separate fieldwork trips.
  • One trip is to the Olympic Park in Stratford to study the changing human environment here.
  • The second trip is to a local river in Epping Forest where students will investigate the impact of land use on flood risk.
  • At the end of Rhetoric I students embark on a five day residential trip to the Isle of Arran with the Biology department. This trip will be used to form the basis of the students’ independent investigation required for the A Level course.
  • The St Edmund’s College Current Affairs club meets weekly to discuss Geography in the news and students are encouraged to attend to further their discussion skills.
Higher education and career prospects

The new specification will excite students’ minds, challenge perceptions and stimulate their investigative and analytical skills.  New topics have been added to reflect the world today and to engage students with the dynamic nature of geography.  All of this will help you provide students with the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm sought by higher education and employers.