A Level:- AQA 7037
GCSE:- AQA 8035



Component 1: Physical Geography-

What’s assessed

Section A: Water and carbon cycles
Section B: either Hot desert systems and landscapes or Coastal systems and landscapes
Section C: either Hazards or Ecosystems under stress

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Component 2: Human Geography-

What’s assessed

Section A: Global systems and global governance
Section B: Changing places
Section C: either Contemporary urban environments or Population and the environment or Resource security

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A-level

Component 3: Fieldwork Investigation


What’s assessed

Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

How it’s assessed

  • 3,000-4,000 words
  • 60 marks
  • 20% of A-level
  • marked by teachers
  • moderated by AQA


Unit 1: Paper 1 Living with the Physical Environment

What’s assessed

3.1.1 The challenge of natural hazards
3.1.2 The living world
3.1.3 Physical landscapes in the UK
3.4 Geographical skills

How it’s assessed

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology (SPaG))

35% of GCSE

Unit 2: Paper 2 Challenges in the human environment

What’s assessed

3.2.1 Urban issues and challenges
3.2.2 The changing economic world
3.2.3 The challenge of resource management
3.4 Geographical skills

How it’s assessed

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
88 marks (including 3 marks for SPaG)

35% of GCSE

Unit 3: Paper 3: Geographical applications

What’s assessed

3.3.1 Issue evaluation
3.3.2 Fieldwork
3.4 Geographical skills

How it’s assessed

Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
76 marks (including 6 marks for SPaG)

30% of GCSE

Pre-release resources booklet made available 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam



Year 7:

  • Africa: Investigating the different cultures we can find in Africa
  • Deserts: Go on a desert survival mission as we learn more about what deserts are like and how humans can live in them.
  • Japan and its Hazards: Dive into Japanese culture whilst we learn about how Japan copes with being a multi hazardous location.
  • Tropical Rainforests: Here we learn about TRF destruction and how humans are destroying this amazing natural habitat.
  • Coasts: Investigating the main coastal landforms found as a result of erosion, transportation and deposition.
  • Weather Events: Looking at weather disasters around the world from hurricanes to tornados!

Year 8:

  • Mega Cities: An investigation into the growth of mega cities and the problems this brings.
  • Crazy Rivers: Investigating the main river landforms as well as looking at flood disasters in the UK
  • Population: Here we look at how population is growing and the problems this might bring to resources
  • Economic Activity: Learn about Trans National Companies such as Nike and their advantages and disadvantages
  • Antarctica: A study into the wonders of Antarctica.
  • Glaciation: Investigating the main glacial landscapes and how these amazing features are being lost due to global warming.


Geography is a dynamic and relevant subject for all young people.

Studying Geography gives students the opportunity to travel the world both inside and outside the classroom, learning about both natural and social sciences along the way.

If you are inquisitive, enjoy learning about people and their societies, economies, cultures and the environment and especially like to explore the world in which you live then Geography could be for you.

Year 9 GCSE:

  • Natural Hazards
  • Urban World (Rio de Janeiro and Birmingham)
  • Coasts
  • Deserts
  • + 1 x Fieldwork (City Study)

Year 10

  • Ecosystems and Tropical Rainforests
  • Resource Management and Energy
  • Climate Change
  • Rivers
  • + 1 x Fieldwork (River Study)

Year 11:

  • Development
  • The Changing UK economy
  • Nigeria – A Newly Emerging Economy


A-level Geography offers a natural progression from GCSE. Geography is a subject which allows those who study it to bridge the two concepts of human behaviour and the natural world by investigating the causation between them. If you want to be part of a subject which can take you across the world on fieldwork, help curb the effects of human pollution or study the patterns of this planet we call home then consider choosing Geography.

This engaging and flexible subject gives students the opportunity to:

  • engage with the relationship of human populations to each other over space and time
  • study the relationship between human populations with their physical environment at a variety of scales from the local to the global
  • consider their own role in relation to themes and issues being studied and the roles, values and attitudes of others including decision makers
  • choose between specialised content, including a dedicated fieldwork option on Unit 4.

Year 12

  • Hazards
  • Population and the environment
  • Coastal Systems and Landscapes
  • + 1 x Fieldwork (Dorset Coast)

Year 13:

  • Changing Places
  • Water & Carbon Cylces
  • Global Systems and Governance


Main Examination board website:

Additional Useful links:

BBC Bitesize’s specific AQA GCSE section:

The Geography Department’s own website: