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Exam Board: Edexcel B

Why you should consider studying Geography:

The world is always changing and this new exciting GCSE syllabus gives you the chance to learn about those changes.  This subject will particularly appeal to you if you want to learn and understand more about the world we live in. You will develop skills that will help you in other subjects and in employment, such as ICT and research skills and you will also complete practical work and learn through investigating. 

What you will learn by studying Geography:

Component 1

Global Geographical Issues

This component draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary global geographical issues. The component is divided into three sections:

  • Topic 1: Hazardous Earth – an understanding of the global circulation of the atmosphere and changing climate. Plus two depth studies of an extreme weather hazard (tropical cyclones) and tectonic hazards at contrasting locations.
  • Topic 2: Development dynamics – an understanding of the scale of global inequality. Plus a depth study of how one emerging country is developing and the consequences for people, environment and the country’s relationship with the wider world
  • Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world – an overview of the causes and challenges of rapid urbanisation across the world. Plus one depth study of a megacity in a developing or emerging country.

Component 2

UK Geographical Issues

This component draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary geographical issues for the UK. The component is divided into three sections:

  • Topic 4: The UK's evolving physical landscape - an overview of the varied physical landscapes in the UK resulting from geology, geomorphic processes and human activity over time. Plus two depth studies of distinctive landscapes – Coastal change and conflict and River processes and pressures
  • Topic 5: The UK's evolving human landscape - an overview of the changing and varied human landscape of the UK, including the socio-economic and political processes that influence it. Plus a case study of a major UK city - Dynamic UK cities.
  • Topic 6: Geographical investigations - two investigations, including fieldwork and research, carried out in contrasting environments, one on 'River processes and pressures' and one on 'Dynamic urban areas'.

Component 3


Component 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions Overview In this component, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions between people and environment and investigate related issues at a variety of scales. This component has three sections:

  • Topic 7: People and the biosphere – an overview of the global distribution and characteristics of large-scale ecosystems, why the biosphere is important to human wellbeing and how humans use and modify it in order to obtain resources
  • Topic 8: Forests under threat – a detailed study of tropical rainforests and the taiga, looking at processes and interactions and issues related to their biodiversity and to their sustainable use and management
  • Topic 9: Consuming energy resources – a study of renewable and non-renewable energy, its supply and demand, access and energy security issues, its sustainable use and management.

How assessment is organised:

Component 1 and 2 are each worth 37.5% of the total GCSE. Component 3 is worth 25%.

Exams: Component 1 and 2 are assessed in an exam, based on maps, photographs and diagrams which will help answer the questions. Component 3 is a decision making exam, based on a resource booklet about a geographical problem.

Fieldwork and Assessment:

Fieldwork is an essential part of Geography. As part of the GCSE one three day residential trip will take place at the end of Year 10. Unlike previously, this is assessed as part of the Component 2 Exam and not in Controlled Assessment. This does not alter the importance of this fieldwork experience.

What opportunities will a GCSE in Geography lead to?

  • Geography really is an education for life. 
  • Employers and universities value the broad range of transferable skills that geography delivers and is therefore highly regarded.
  • Geography fits neatly with other science, arts and humanities subjects
  • Geography GCSE is excellent preparation for a career in planning, management, tourism, development, journalism and environmental studies to name just a few!

What skills profile a GCSE Geography student should have: Students opting for Geography should be interested in current affairs. They should also be ICT literate, able to analyse and evaluate information and have a keen interest in the world in which we live.

Famous Geographers include: Michael Palin, Prince William, Mother Teresa, Michael Jordan, Nick Hodgson from the Kaiser Chiefs, Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell

For more information, contact Mr Collinson (Head of Department), Mrs Record, Ms McMahon or Mr Hobbs.