Shrewsbury School

Geography in the Sixth Form

The following information is taken from our document 'The Sixth Form and Beyond', which is updated each December. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.

Head of Faculty: Dr. T.R. Foulger

This course will appeal to those students who:

  • Want to study a subject that focuses on 21st Century issues such as the rise of new superpowers and increasing global problems such as climate change.
  • Have an interest in and concern for the environment.
  • Are interested in current affairs.
  • Enjoy studying a subject that is relevant to their own lives and experiences.
  • Want an opportunity to carry out practical work outdoors as well as class-work.
  • Want to broaden their AS studies to cover both ‘sciences’ and ‘humanities’.
  • Enjoy travel and finding out about new people, places, landscapes and events.
  • Want to keep their options open – Geography AS/A2 is an appropriate qualification for a very wide range of higher education or career choices.
  • Don’t want to do any more coursework!

What will I learn on this course?

  • What are the issues affecting people and places where they live?  How are cities and the countryside changing?  Why are they changing?
  • How will hazards affect our planet as we move through the 21st Century?
  • How are people affecting the environment we all live in?
  • What are the economic forces that drive the world economy?  How are they changing?
  • What decisions are being made about the use and management of resources, and who makes these decisions?
  • An appreciation of current events and world problems, such as the effects of natural hazards, global warming, migration and the plight of refugees.

Must I have done GCSE Geography?
It is not a requirement that you have studied GCSE Geography, but in this case you should demonstrate high GCSE results (As and A*s) in other subjects.  For those who have studied Geography GCSE we would expect a minimum of a B grade in the subject.

What examinations will I have to take to get my qualification?
Edexcel AS Unit 1: Global Challenges (1½ hour exam: 60% of AS)

Two topics will be studied:

  • World At Risk: global natural hazards and climate change.
  • Going Global: globalisation, connections between nations, migration, mega cities, technologies and population change.

Edexcel AS Unit 2: Geographical Investigations (1¼ hour exam: 40% of AS)

Two topics will be studied:

  • Extreme Weather: with its increasing ferocity and frequency, extreme weather can frighten and fascinate!
  • Re-branding Places: reinventing places to improve their image and regenerate them.

Edexcel A2 Unit 3: Contested Planet (2½ hour exam: 60% of A2)

Six topics will be studied:

  • Energy Security: economic wealth depends on being able to use energy.  With demand for energy growing, is there potential for conflict over supply?
  • Water Conflicts: water is a basic human need, but is not evenly available – why?
  • Biodiversity Under Threat: biological resources are valuable but are often under threat through over-exploitation.
  • Superpower Geographies: power is not even – some countries hold more than others.  But why and what are the consequences?  The economic rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as the USA and EU.
  • Bridging the Development Gap: as the divide between rich and poor grows even bigger, what can be done to reduce the gap?
  • The Technological Fix: access to technology is closely linked to development and, just as development is uneven, so is access to technology.

Edexcel A2 Unit 4: Geographical Research (1½ hour exam: 40% of A2)

This will be based around an in depth study of Cold Environments.  We are a leading centre in this field.

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