Geography A Level
International A Level Exam Board: CIE
A GCSE grade of at least a 7 in Geography is required as it signifies a broadly acceptable foundation from which to embark on A Level Geography. A need for effective communication requires a grade 6 or better in English Language or Literature.
The CIE Course
The Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) International A Level differs from the domestic A Level in that the AS and A2 pattern of assessment is used. This means that exams are taken at the end of the Lower Sixth and an AS mark and grade is awarded. This mark, worth 50% of the A Level, is then combined with the A2 mark in the Upper Sixth to give an overall A Level grade. The advantages of this are that pupils can take the course for only one year if they wish, have fewer exams in the Upper Sixth and are able to space out their assessment over the two years. Students can also resit AS exams in the Upper Sixth if needed to boost performance.
94.4% A*-A and 100% A*-B at full A Level in 2022.
Paper 1 (AS – L6) Physical Core Paper 2 (AS – L6) Human Core
- Hydrology and fluvial geomorphology
- Atmosphere and weather
- Rocks and weathering
- Settlement dynamics
Paper 3 (A2 – U6) Advanced Physical Options – study 2 from:
- Tropical environments
- Coastal environments
- Hazardous environments
- Arid and semi-arid environments
Paper 4 (A2 – U6) Advanced Human Options – study 2 from:
- Production, location and change
- Environmental management
- Global interdependence
- Economic transition
Within the course there is a compulsory residential field trip to South Wales at the start of the Easter holiday in the Lower Sixth costing in the region of £200, and a day trip which varies from year to year. However, there are also other trips available to geographers, most notably a trip to Iceland in alternate summers (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 etc.).
Geography is concerned with the interaction between humans and their environment. It seeks to draw together aspects of the humanities and sciences, within a spatial context, in order to address both current and long-term issues which influence the human environment. Geographers are therefore synthesisers, people who draw together relevant concepts and disciplines and seek to provide an overview. These qualities, together with IT-based research skills, mean that Geographers are often involved in decision-making processes. In addition to the academic environment, they are to be found working as planners, environmentalists, and in many areas of the business world.
Degree Studies in Geography require a good grade at A Level. Courses such as Economics, History, Politics, Town Planning, Surveying, Geology and Environmental Sciences may also require or recommend Geography at A Level. Many Russell Group Universities also consider Geography to be a science and, as such, it can be seen as an alternative to other science subjects.
Well-qualified geographers have little difficulty finding employment and many utilise the wide range of appropriate skills developed in a variety of consultancy roles.
Geography is an academic subject with strong application skills. It combines well with a number of other A Level subjects and can be viewed as a link between the observational sciences and the critical humanities. It aims to prepare students for the global future.