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There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose to study. Geographers are also highly employable.

Whatever your passion for the world -fascination with landscapes or concerns about inequality -geography will provide you with knowledge and transferable skills that will reward you personally and advance you professionally.

Dr Rita Gardner, Director of the RGS-IBG


A-Level geography at a glance


Unit 1

Physical and Human Geography

 The study of core geographical concepts along with contrasting themes of contemporary or environmental impact, management and sustainability. Candidates must study the core and then select one of the physical options and one of the human options.

Core physical section:                                            Core human section:

Rivers, floods and management                        Population change

Optional physical topics:                                        Optional human topics:

Cold environments                                                Food supply issues

Coastal environments                                          Energy issues

Hot desert environments                                     Health issues

and their margins


Unit 2

Geographical Skills

 A geographical skills paper based on the content of Unit 1.

Skills include:

investigative, cartographic, graphical, ICT and statistical skills.

 Unit 3

Contemporary Geographical Issues

 An issues-based approach to contemporary geographical themes. Candidates must select three topics: at least one from the physical options and at least one from the human options.

Optional physical topics:

Plate tectonics and associated hazards

Weather and climate and associated hazards

Ecosystems: change and challenge

Optional Human topics:

World cities

Development and globalisation

Contemporary conflicts and challenges

 Unit 4B

Geographical Issue Evaluation

This unit gives candidates the opportunity to use their skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. An advance information booklet is pre-released prior to the exam to facilitate candidates’ research into an area which extends from the specification content.

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