Geography (Physical) A-level


The study of geography is about more than memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.
Studying the Physical Geography pathway, alongside your core modules, will allow you to develop an understanding of the physical systems that affect everyday life, from studying the water cycle to understanding how climate change is impacting on our weather in the UK, to examining the issues in the Arctic tundra, through the two optional modules of ecosystems or weather and climate.

What will I study in Geography (Physical) A-level?

Every student studies - 

Changing Places

Changing Landscapes

Global Systems

Global Governance

Tectonic Hazards

Plus the optional modules of ecosystems and weather and climate. 

Entry Requirements

5 GCSE's at grade 4 or above

How will I learn?

This course will equip you with both the geographical knowledge & skills to fulfil your potential within your A-Level exam & also prepare you with the skills to become independent life-long learners with both initiative & thirst for learning.

You will develop the skills to present a well-balanced argument on a particular topic area in a range of essay marked questions. Alongside this, you will develop analytical skills from a range of data and visual sources. Also, you will develop a focus on a particular area of interest and complete an independent investigation using a range of data collection, presentation and analytical skills.

The course structure allows from day one the opportunity for you to explore your optional topics alongside critical topic areas. The majority of students have two lecturers, one who sees them for 3 hours a week and sees them for an hour and half a week. Each lesson builds on topic areas explored in the previous class, alongside scaffolding to support student gaps in knowledge, alongside providing students' opportunities to stretch their understanding of topic areas further.

How will I be assessed?

80 % of the course is assessed by three exams at the end of your second year.

The other 20% is done via fieldwork which will comprise of either a Human or Physical Geography project carried out by you during the 2 years and will offer you the chance to develop a wide range of practical skills before creating a 4,000 word fieldwork report.

Any trips?

Students have to do four mandatory days as part of their Geography A Level - locations will include the following:-


South Wales and Cardiff


Purton or Gloucester

In addition we do offer an optional year one residential to Somerset in the April each year to help students with their coursework.

Additionally there maybe the opportunity to go on an optional international trip whilst studying with us - in the past we have gone to Iceland, Italy and Morocco.

Also you will have the opportunity to attend geography talks and geography taster days at universities.

Are there any costs involved?

There will be small costs for course booklets and stationary.

All mandatory trips there is a small cost attached to cover the cost of transport to the fieldwork locations - the cost ranges between £5 and around £20.


What opportunities are there to explore progression possibilities?

We run a number of events throughout the year aimed at giving students the opportunity to explore progression possibilities.

In the past this has included trips to a range of universities including Bristol, Cardiff, Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire.

How much work will I be expected to do outside of the classroom?

This will vary throughout the year depending on if you are currently completing coursework or building up to an exam, however in an average week you are likely to receive between 1 and 2 hours of work a week.

What happens if I change my mind and want to change from the Physical to the Human pathway?

In the first three weeks when you join us in September you will have the opportunity to switch pathways.

Would studying Core Maths alongside A-Level Geography be helpful?

If you are not also studying A-Level Maths, taking L3 Mathematical Studies (Core Maths) could be a useful option to help support the work done in A-Level Geography. This is a one-year course that you would take alongside your other 3 subjects, with exams at the end of your first year. Taking this would help to reinforce the data analysis work done in Geography, looking at presenting and analysing data graphically, as well as calculating the standard deviation of a set of data. Core Maths also looks at probability modelling, critical analysis and personal finance.

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

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What can I do after I have taken this course?

Available As

A Level
[56 UCAS pts. available]

Add to Application

Recently Visited Courses

All Courses


Hear from some of our First year A-level Geography students!

What the students say

Physical geography course helps to build an analytical view both sides of an argument, The subject forces me to think about impacts actions may have, such as recycling vs littering/landfill. I have learned to consider environment impacts of our actions and the role I might play also. I am excited about the challenge of the coursework research project there are many different options choose from. The chance to research my own topic, collect the supporting data and suggest solutions to the challenges is going to be tough but great! It’s immensely fun to learn and come up with theories with my classmates as everyone brings a different point of view and set of ideas.

Chloe Duggan