A Level

Type of study
Examination board


If you are interested in the world around you, Geography is an ideal choice. You’ll examine the relationship between people and their environment from scientific, political, economic and social perspectives.

This course looks at a variety of world issues such as climate change, natural disasters, health studies and questions of population as well as contemporary environmental and human issues. It’s an excellent choice for developing skills including IT, research (including fieldwork), analysis, evaluation and decision-making.

Highly regarded by universities, Geography will be accepted for a huge range of courses, and provides a solid academic grounding for virtually any career you have in mind. You may progress onto degree level Geography, or along other routes including Ocean Science, Architecture, Economics, Engineering and Sport Science, and employment in the Armed Services and the travel and retail industries.


Availability & Details

Geography, A Level HSDC-SD-AP2GEO

HSDC South Downs Campus
Academic Year 2017-18 (1 year)
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A minimum of five GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English and Mathematics at grade 4 or above.

On this course you will study:

In the first year you will study three topics:

  • Coastal systems and landscapes, including human impacts
  • Contemporary urban environments, including urban physical geography and sustainability
  • Changing places (an entirely new topic about people’s experience of place)

In the second year you will study three topics plus Fieldwork Investigation:

  • Hazards (including tectonic, storm and wildfire hazards) OR Ecosystems under stress
  • Global systems and global governance (economic, social and political aspects of globalisation)
  • Water and carbon cycles

The topics have been chosen to include both physical and human geography and so that the first year is an easier transition from GCSE.


All of our lecturers are leading subject and industry professionals.

The College offers a variety of learning and teaching approaches including lectures, tutorials, studios, workshops, presentations and group discussions.

Teaching is in a specialist Geography area where students have access to the variety of resources required for such a wide subject, as well as the necessary text books. Students work independently and in small groups. Formal teaching and small teaching groups allow discussion and debate to flourish.

You will also be able to take part in an optional fieldtrip to Iceland in the Second Year of the course.


Physical Geography (2 hours 30 minutes (40%)
Human Geography (2 hours 30 minutes 40%)

There are two examinations in the June series in the second year. Both examinations will contain short answer data-response questions and an essay.

There is a Fieldwork Investigation (20%): This is an independent piece of research on a topic related to the specification. Data can be collected in groups, but the topic and write-up must be the students own. The report of 3000-4000 words will be marked by the teacher and externally moderated. There is also Fieldwork and enrichment: Fieldwork is an essential part of the course (at least four days). Fieldwork associated with the investigation will be local, but enrichment opportunities will be offered, including overseas.

There is also Fieldwork and enrichment: Fieldwork is an essential part of the course (at least four days). Fieldwork associated with the investigation will be local, but enrichment opportunities will be offered, including overseas.

Contact us

My time at South Downs was definitely life changing, I have learnt a lot of new skills, and obviously it’s a completely new experience. The support was great, there was always people there to help and try make it as easy as they can for you. South Downs is really fantastic, it has helped me on the way to get to what I want to achieve within my career goals.

Erin Morgan, BTEC student

I would say it’s a college that really balances academia with fun, there is lots of extra-curricular stuff that you can get involved in. It has a really good work/life balance.

Laura Hagedorn, A Level student

I’m really happy and pleased with my grades. I really loved my time at South Downs, I have also made lots of friends, it’s a really nice place to be, I don’t want to leave.

Lauren Piper, A Level student


A significant proportion of students go on to study Geography at degree level. However, some other progression routes have been degrees in ocean science, architecture, economics, engineering, forestry & geography, geography with qualified teacher status, marine geography, international development, sport science, and land economics, also employment in the armed services, the travel and retail industry. This subject allows for a very varied progression route.


Cartographer, Climatologist, Environmental Planner, Health Services Planner, Researcher, Teacher, Transport Planner, Urban Planner

What to do next

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