A Level Geography (Reformed 2016)

What is Geography?

Geography matters. It matters because it's relevant. Geography's relevance stems from the fact that it can lie at the heart of government policy making, as well as affecting the way we live our everyday lives. It considers some of the most critical issues affecting the planet today, such as population growth, globalisation and environmental degradation. To understand geography is to understand your world.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Geography appeals to people who:

Have an interest in the world around them and how it 'works'
Want to investigate the ways in which humans use (and abuse) their environment
Are interested in how humans interact with each other around the world
Want to look at vital issues affecting us all, such as sustainability and the environment
njoy investigating and analysing information
Want to develop a wide range of skills, including fieldwork

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

Contemporary case studies, debate, fieldwork and geographical skills work will form a crucial part of geography teaching. Skills and knowledge developed in the first year of study will form the foundation for year two.

AS Specification Number
OCR H081

 

Contemporary case studies, debate, fieldwork and geographical skills work will form a crucial part of geography teaching. Skills and knowledge The OCR Geography AS-Level covers both human and physical geography topics and concludes at the end of the first year with two exams. Geographical skills are taught throughout the course as part of all topics and fieldwork must also be completed.

Topic One: Glaciated Landscapes
This topic enables students to learn about the environmental systems and relationships that shape our world. Students will learn about glacial systems, landscapes and the problems human activity brings to these areas.

Topic Two: Changing Spaces; Making Places
This human geography topic examines the ways in which human spaces and places change and evolve over time. Students will consider the role of migration and globalisation. Students will also investigate the role of media, thinking about how films, television shows, music and even graffiti affects the way we think about locations and places.

Topic Three: Disease Dilemmas
This topic involves in-depth research and study into the issues that affect the world. Infectious disease outbreaks are still, despite much medical advancement, considered to be among the foremost dangers to human health and the global economy. The reasons for the patterns of the spread of disease and the impacts they have on individuals and the development of countries are amongst the issues discussed.

Paper 1 – Landscape and Place

  • 82 marks
  • 1 hour 45 minute written paper
  • 55% of the AS level

Paper 2 – Geographical debates

  • 68 marks
  • 1 hour 30 minute written paper
  • 45% of the AS level

Reading List

AuthorTitlePublisher
Raw, Palmer, Stiff, Barker and Harris OCR A Level Geography Second Edition Hodder Education

A Level

A Level Specification Number
OCR H481

 

The OCR Geography A-Level is the study of 7 topics and issues covering both human and physical geography. For the full A-level qualification students will take 3 exams and complete coursework.

Topic Four: Earth’s Life Systems
Water and carbon support life on earth. This topic examines the importance of the carbon and water cycles and then goes a step further to consider issues such as the changing nature of the cycles and the relationship between the two. Students will also study two contrasting areas, tropical rainforest and arctic tundra.

Topic Five: Global Migration and Human Rights
This topic allows students to explore the processes and flows that occur at the global levels and the ways in which these influence people, places and institutions. The study of two themes – global systems and global governance – enables students to investigate how these shape relationships between citizens, states and organisations around the world.

Topic Six: Hazardous Earth
Debate is a key element of geography. This topic involves in-depth research and study into the issues that affect the world most. Every year natural disasters affect one in thirty people on Earth. Whether developing or industrialised, all nations are at risk. This topic enables students to explore tectonic hazards. Students will study plate tectonic theory and its associated evidence and discuss the main hazards created by volcanic and seismic activity.

Topic Seven: Independent Investigation
Investigative geography gives learners the opportunity to undertake an independent investigation which is of particular interest to them, which can be related to any area of the specification. The independent investigation will consist of a written report which will assess the process of enquiry and investigation. The report must be an independent investigation but data collection can be conducted within a group. This will be a non-examination assessment.The issue evaluation comprises structured short and extended questions based on an advance information booklet.

Paper 1 – Physical systems

  • 66 marks
  • 1 hour 30 minute written paper
  • 22% of the A level

Paper 2 – Human Interactions

  • 66 marks
  • 1 hour 30 minute written paper
  • 22% of the A level

Paper 3 – Geographical debates

  • 108 marks
  • 2 hour 30 minute written paper
  • 36% of the A level

Paper 4 – Investigative geography

  • 60 marks
  • 1Non examination assessment
  • 20% of the A level

Reading List

AuthorTitlePublisher
Raw, Palmer, Stiff, Barker and Harris OCR A Level Geography Second Edition Hodder Education

Click - Full specification details to find out more. 

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.