Geography GCSE

Full name of specification

AQA GCSE Geography

Exam board specification link

Name of textbook if used

CGP GCSE AQA Geography

Why study this course?

Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring 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 and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.

What can you expect from this course?

Students will develop their understanding of how geographical concepts affect our changing world. They examine how the growing worldwide population increases the demand on Earth’s systems. Students also develop as global citizens and recognise how they can contribute to a sustainable and inclusive future.

How is it assessed?

Three GCSE Papers

Paper  Topic Length
Paper 1 Physical Geography 1 ½ hours
Paper 2 Human Geography 1 ½ hours
Paper 3 Issue Evaluation and Fieldwork 1 ¼ hours


What will I learn?

GCSE Geography is a very popular and interesting subject because it contains such a mixed diverse set of skills and topics. There are six core topics of study which are half Physical Geography (the natural world) and half Human Geography (the human world). It also includes a fieldwork element.

Human Geography includes: Urban Issues and Challenges – Urbanisation and Urban Growth, LIC Cities: Opportunities, Challenges and Urban Development in Lagos Nigeria; Challenges and Urban Development in Liverpool. Urban Transport Schemes, Sustainable Cities. The Changing Economic World – Measuring Development, Demographic Transition Model, Uneven Development, Reducing the Development Gap, Economic Development in India and the UK. The Challenge of Resource Management – Global Distribution of Resources, Food in the UK, Managing the UK’s Water, Energy in the UK. Focus on Energy: Supply and Demand, the UK Energy Mix, Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Sources.

Physical Geography includes: The Challenge of Natural Hazards – Tectonic Plates, Volcanoes and Earthquakes, Global Atmospheric Circulation, Tropical Storms, UK Extreme Weather, Causes and Effects of Climate Change. The Living World –

Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforest plants and animals, Deforestation – Causes and Effects, Cold Environments plants and animals, Opportunities and Challenges in Cold Environments, Management of Cold Environments. Physical Landscapes in the UK – Features of the UK mountains and rivers, Coasts and Coastal Landforms, Coastal Management Strategies; Rivers in the UK, River Processes and Landforms, River Management Strategies.

How will this prepare me?

Geography is such a subject for our times and a useful choice for several reasons. First, it has a diverse array of skills which are involved – these include working with data, interpreting photos, diagrams and statistics, analysing articles, performing fieldwork and research studies and writing essays to discuss real world issues. As a result, Geography is respected by universities and places of work because you will be able to deal with a large variety of different situations with the skills you learn.

Secondly, the issues which we learn about are crucial to the future of our planet. Most of the biggest companies in the world are looking at how to do things more sustainably and are looking for geographically fluent candidates.

Careers/job ideas:

Pupils who have studied Geography at degree level have gone on to work in the following sectors:

law, science, sales, business, environment, information technology, management, finance, banking, marketing, research, manufacturing, teaching, childcare, engineering and building, arts, design and media, town planning, working abroad and many (many) more.

Because it has such a variety of themes and skills, it is a very good choice if you want to keep your options open at this stage. Many who study Geography go on to work with large companies using their geographical skills. It is the most employable degree to have and respected in the most diverse different jobs.

Additional activities within this subject

2 Field days doing data collection


Mr Storey