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GCSE Geography

Exam Board: AQA GCSE Geography

Level: 2 (Grades 9 to 1)


What Will I Learn?

• develop and extend their knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes, and of

different scales including global; and of social, political and cultural contexts (know geographical


•  gain understanding of the interactions between people and environments, change in places and processes over space and time, and the inter-relationship between geographical phenomena at different scales and in different contexts (think like a geographer)

•  develop and extend their competence in a range of skills including those used in fieldwork, in

using maps and GIS and in researching secondary evidence, including digital sources; and

develop their competence in applying sound enquiry and investigative approaches to questions

and hypotheses (study like a geographer)

•  apply geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and

creatively to real world contexts, including fieldwork, and to contemporary situations and issues; and develop well-evidenced arguments drawing on their geographical knowledge and understanding (applying geographer)


These are the units that we will be studying at GCSE Geography:

  •  Living with the physical environment (35% of GCSE)
  •  Challenges in the human environment (35% of GCSE)
  •  Geographical application (30% of GCSE)


How Will I Learn?

3.1 Living with the physical environment

This unit is concerned with physical processes and systems, their dynamic nature and human interaction with them at a range of scales and in a range of places.

The aims of this unit are to develop an understanding of the processes and forms associated with tectonic, geomorphological, biological and meteorological processes in different environments, and 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.

3.2 Challenges in the human environment

This unit is concerned with human processes, systems and outcomes and how these change both spatially and temporally. They are studied in a range of places, at a variety of scales and must include places in various states of development.

The aims of this unit are to 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.

3.3 Geographical applications

The Geographical applications unit is designed to have elements of synopticity. It is an opportunity for students to show their breadth of understanding and appreciation of the inter-relationships between different aspects of geographical study.


How Will I Be Assessed?

AQA GCSE (9-1) in Geography consists of three external papers.

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment (1 hour 30 minutes)

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment (1 hour 30 minutes)

Paper 3: Geographical applications (1 hour)

The total qualification mark is 252 of which 12 marks are for SPGST.



Where Might It Lead?

According to the Royal Geographical Society, Geography graduates have some of the highest rates of graduate employment.

Geography is great for any kind of career that involves the environment, planning, or collecting and interpreting data. Popular careers for people with geography qualifications include: town or transport planning, surveying, conservation, sustainability, waste and water management, environmental planning, tourism, and weather forecasting.

The army, police, government, research organisations, law and business world also love the practical research skills that geographers develop.

Because geographers learn about human and population development, geography can be useful for jobs in charity and international relations too.