A Level Geography
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AQA Geography AS (1031) and A2 (2031) Specification
AS Exams from June 2009 and January 2010
A2 Exams from June 2010 and January 2011.
Geography analyses the relationship of human populations with the physical environment at a variety of scales from the local to global, over time and space.
This course is split into units, each of which is further divided into separate topics and options, these are explained below. Units 1 and 2 make up the AS section of the course and completion of all units leads to a full A2 qualification. No prior learning is required although it is recommended to have the associated GCSE course or equivalent.
Unit 1: Physical and Human Geography (GEOG1) The core physical and human sections must be studied, also at least one of the physical options and at least one of the human options.
Core Physical Section
Rivers, Floods and Management: hydrological cycle, river discharge, long and valley profiles, changing channel characteristics, landforms of fluvial erosion and deposition, process and impact of rejuvenation, physical and human causes of flooding, impact of flooding, flood management strategies.
Cold environments: global distribution of cold environments, glaciers as systems, ice movement, glacial processes and landscape development, erosional landforms, depositional landforms, fluvioglacial processes, periglacial processes, exploitation and development in tundra areas, the future of Antarctica.
Coastal environments: the coastal systems, coastal processes, landforms of erosion, case study of coastal erosion, sea level change, case study of coastal flooding, coastal protection objectives and management strategies, case studies of two contrasting areas.
Hot Desert Environments and Their Margins: location and characteristics, causes of aridity, arid geomorphologic processes, the effect of wind, the effect of water, landforms, desertification, case study of desertification in the Sahel, managing hot desert environments and their margins.
Core Human Section
Population Change: population indicators, populationchange, population structures and different stages of the demographic transition, social, economic and political implications of populationchange, effects on rural and urban areas, settlement case studies.
Food Supply Issues: global patterns of food supply, consumption and trade, contrasting agricultural food production systems, managing food supply, changes in demand, food supplies in a globalising economy, potential for sustainable food supplies, case studies of two contrasting approaches to managing food supply and demand.
Energy Issues: types of energy, global patterns of energy supply, consumption and trade, the geopolitics of energy, environmental impact of energy production, potential for sustainable energy supply and consumption, energy conservation, case studies at national scale of two contrasting approaches to managing energy supply.
Health Issues: global patterns of health, morbidity and mortality, the study of one infectious disease, the study of one ‘disease of affluence’, food and health, health matters in a globalising world economy, regional variations in health and morbidity in the UK, factors affecting regional variations in health and morbidity, local case studies.
Unit 2: Geographical Skills (GEOG2). Students will take part in personal investigative work in the field to ensure familiarity with basic, investigative, ICT, graphical, cartographical and statistical skills.
Unit 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues (GEOG3). Candidates must study at least three of the six sections, one from the physical options, one from the human options and a free choice.
Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards: plate movement, vulcanicity, seismicity.
Weather and Climate and Associated Hazards: major climate controls, the climate of the British Isles, climate of one tropical region (tropical wet/ dry savannah or monsoon or equatorial), climate on a local scale: urban climates, global climate change.
Ecosystems: Change and Challenge: nature of ecosystems, ecosystems in the British Isles over time, the biome of one tropical region (savannah, grassland or tropical monsoon forest or tropical equatorial rainforest), ecosystem issues on a local scale: impact of human activity, ecosystem issues on a global scale.
World Cities: contemporary urbanisation processes, urban decline and regeneration within urban areas, retailing and other services, contemporary sustainability issues in urban areas.
Development and Globalisation: patterns and processes, countries at very low levels of economic development, global social and economic groupings, aspects of globalisation, development issues within the world (each to be studied with reference to contrasting areas of the world).
Contemporary Conflicts and Challenges: the geographical basis of conflict, conflict over the use of a local resource (e.g. land, buildings, space), the geographical impact of international conflicts, the challenge of multicultural societies in the UK, separatism within and/or across national boundaries, the challenge of global poverty.
Unit 4A: Geography Fieldwork Investigation (GEO4A). Students have the opportunity to extend an area of the subject into a more detailed fieldwork study.
Unit 4 B: Geographical Issue Evaluation (GEO4B). Students will use their skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation in relation to an advance information booklet.
Methods of Assessment
Unit 1: 2 hour written examination, with short and extended questions.
Unit 2: 1 hour written examination with skills and generic fieldwork questions.
Unit 3: 2 hour 30 minute written examination with short and extended questions and an essay.
Unit 4: 1 hour 30 minute written examination.
GEO4A: short and extended questions based on fieldwork.
GEO4B: short and extended questions based on an Advance Information Booklet.
AQA AS Geography: Student's Book
by Smith John, Roger Knill
Publisher: Nelson Thornes Ltd (26 Jun 2008)
AQA A2 Geography
by John Smith, Roger Knill
Publisher: Nelson Thornes (26 May 2009)
To complete a full A level it will take in the region of 200 study hours.
To take an A Level you should have a GCSE grade C or above, or the equivalent and preferably in your chosen subject.
You will have access to tutor via email who will mark your work and guide you through the course to ensure you are ready for your examinations.
The examination board can provide you with a list of examination centres but it is entirely your responsibility to find a centre which will accept you as an external candidate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do your courses meet the latest syllabus changes?
A. yes, all our course materials meet any changes and will be updated free of charge if further changes are made.
Q. Why do I have to find a centre myself?
A. We have students all over the UK and Europe and it is impossible for us to arrange dates and times for individual students.
Q. What if I cannot find an examination centre in my home town?
A. If you wish to gain the qualification then be prepared to travel it is worth it!
Q. How much are exam fees?
A. These vary from centre to centre so please check with your local centre.
Q. Are the courses paper based or on-line?
A. All our courses are paper based and come in attractive sturdy folders.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. Tutors are all working Teachers or Lecturers so contact is by email only.
Q. Why can I not take my exams when I have completed the course and why do I have to wait?
A. Exams are taken at the same times as schools and colleges and are not flexible.
Q. I want to take my exams but there are only a few months to study, is this possible?
A. Depending on the time of year, it is sometimes impossible to complete your studies in a short space of time as your work has to be marked and checked. More importantly the examination boards have cut off times which are not flexible. See our web site for further information.
Q. Will I receive UCAS points on completion of this course?
A. Yes all of our A Levels carry UCAS points. The number of points awarded will depend on the grade you achieve.