Geography (GCSE) -


Examination Board



Overview of the course

The course will cover a broad range of topics, both physical and human, which help give an understanding of important global issues. Throughout the course you will learn various aspects of Geography that will prepare you to go on to study the subject beyond GCSE, or to support your chosen post-16 courses. You will learn many transferable skills such as literacy, numeracy, ICT, analysis, decision making and team work, which can also be applied to other subjects. Due to the diversity of the subject it provides an excellent gateway into a variety of different career paths. This also makes the course a very popular choice with many colleges and employers.

Course content

Content will be from the following areas:

Living with the Physical Environment (35% of the final GCSE)

The Challenge of Natural Hazards


This module studies tectonic hazards like earthquakes and volcanoes, their distribution, effects, responses and management. It also studies tropical storms and the extreme weather which the UK experiences such as flooding. A global overview also focuses on climate change which includes global warming.


The Living World


This module studies the interrelationships between the various components of ecosystems.

It studies food webs, nutrient cycling, biotic and abiotic factors and how they interrelate to each other. Two global biomes are studied which are the tropical rainforests and hot deserts. This includes a study of climate and physical conditions and how plants and animals adapt to those conditions. Issues such as deforestation and desertification are covered and the sustainable management of such issues.

Physical Landscapes in the UK


This looks at the physical overview of the UK identifying areas of major upland/lowland areas and river systems. It studies two from three options which include coastal landscapes, river landscapes and glacial landscapes. This looks at processes which shape the land creating a range of landforms.

Challenges in the Human Environment

Urban Issues and Challenges


This studies global patterns of urbanisation, it includes a study of a case study of the patterns of change in a low income country and a major city in the UK. It identifies features of a sustainable city and transport strategies.



The Changing Economic World


Looks at global variations in economic development and quality of life, how to measure development levels and an overview of the development gap between rich and poor. It involves a case study of one LIC (Lower Income Country ) or a NEE (Newly Emerging Economy). Finally it looks at the economic future of the UK.

The Challenge of Resource Management


An overview of the provision and supply of food, water and energy. There is a look at resources in relation to the UK and a more in depth study of either food, water or energy regarding supply and demand, methods to improve supply and moving towards a more sustainable resource future.

Geographical Application

Section A
Issue valuation using secondary sources.

This section is synoptic and will require students to use their learning from the human and physical courses to analyse a geographical issue. A resource booklet will be issues twelve weeks before the date of the exam so students become familiar with the material. Students should apply knowledge and understanding to set the issue in context and to make an appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages. The exam will require students to make reasoned judgements for proposed solutions.


Section B

You will complete two geographical enquiries, one physical and one human environment.

This requires you to apply fieldwork and geographical skills which will be examined in the third paper at the end of Year 11.

Students work will require understanding of the enquiry process and students will be expected to apply knowledge to interpret, analyse and evaluate information and issues related to their enquiries.

There is the potential for local and residential fieldtrips in order to develop fieldwork techniques. fieldwork must take place outside of the classroom.

How you will be assessed

·         The course is 100% examined in three written papers where you will be graded on a nine-point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

·         The examinations include multiple-choice questions, short open response questions, calculations based on data and extended writing questions.

·         The examination will test Geographical knowledge and understanding as well as the use and application of Geographical skills.

·         It is a well-regarded GCSE and an EBacc subject highly valued by future employers and places of further education.

Further details on content and assessment will be available at the information evening in January or from the Geography Department. Also ask your teachers during school time.

Post 16 Courses available to you

You can go on to study Geography at A level which is currently available in The Sandon Sixth Form.