This course will help increase your understanding of the world, and the people and places within it. You will find out about physical, human and enviromental geography from our experienced staff. This is a very broad discipline, developing a wide range of skills, and covers many contemporary issues such as the environment, energy, sustainability and fair trade.
You could progress on to higher level study in humanities or a relevant scientific degree, such as environmental sciences, or alternatively enter employment. Roles in employment would include working for companies like Thames Water and The Environment Agency.
This course can be studied as part of the science or social sciences A Level pathway at Reading College.
What you'll learn
You will learn about the two areas of physical and human geography. This will increase your understanding of a wide range of environments and the world around you.
You will study the following topics under the WJEC specification:
First year (AS)
- Unit 1 – changing physical environments – climate change, hydrology, plate tectonics and fieldwork (based on flooding).
- Unit 2 – changing human environments – population dynamics, settlements in more economically developed countries and fieldwork.
Second year (A2)
- Unit 3 – contemporary themes and research in geography – extreme environments, development and independent research.
- Unit 4 – sustainability – food, water, energy and cities.
How you'll learn and be assessed
You learn in a variety of ways, typically through discussion, groupwork, independent study, traditional essays, reading and research tasks. There is a balance between challenge and support. You play an active part in your learning and there is a strong focus on your individual learning needs.
Fieldwork is an essential part of this course and it will involve a number of trips and visits, including a residential trip.
You will develop your knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts while picking up valuable lifeskills. We use a variety of local, national and international case studies to show theory in practice. Be creative and think outside the box. Your opinions are important and this subject needs them!
There is an extensive programme of support and enrichment opportunities on offer and you will be encouraged to select from a range, including volunteering, work experience, sport and performing.
Our dedicateed support allows you to make higher education decisions and move on to university. The vast majority of A-level students progress successfully to higher education.
Classes take place over four days a week, between 9am and 5pm. We expect our students to be fully committed to their studies and attend all timetabled sessions. In addition, you have the opportunity to attend trips and visits according to the needs of individual subjects. There are many enrichment opportunities, enabling you to extend your learning beyond the bounds of your chosen subjects.
Formal assessment is through a combination of examinations and coursework. The examination periods are in May/ June and you will take two exams, one of which is based on your fieldwork research. There will be a range of regular assignments, essays and class-based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you will receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.
GCSE Geography is not compulsory, although recommended.