AS/A level specification | AQA 5031 & 6031

Curriculum Map

Geography at Advanced level will enable you to further your skills in analysis of data using both qualitative and quantitative methods. You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of the environment.

The A level course is based on the theme of geographical change, which includes both the human and physical dimension. The course will permit you to acquire a broad range of skills, such as observation and analysis of change, using a variety of sources. Fieldwork will be an important element of the course. There will be a visit to North Wales in the Autumn Term of Year 12.

Geography is a subject well regarded by all universities and employers. It is perhaps the one subject that brings together the humanities and sciences with a helping of mathematics. Geography deals with the issues of the modern world. Just to watch a single news bulletin brings home the inter-relationships that exist in the world between people and places. Geographers can link the past to the present and help solve the problems that we will undoubtedly face in the future.

Content & Breakdown

Physical geography: water and carbon cycles; hot desert environments and their margins; coastal systems and landscapes; hazards; ecosystems under stress; cold environments.

Human geography: global systems and global governance; changing places; contemporary urban environments; population and the environment; resource security.

Geography investigation & Geographical skills.


Component 1: Physical geography (40% of A-level).

  • Section A: Water and carbon cycles (27 marks)
  • Section B: either Hot desert environments and their margins or Coastal systems and landscapes (27 marks)
  • Section C: either Hazards or Ecosystems under stress or Cold environments (42 marks)

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes (96 marks).
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response and extended prose.

Component 2: Human geography (40% of A-level).

  • Section A: Global systems and global governance (27 marks).
  • Section B: Changing places (27 marks).
  • Section C: either Contempoary Urban Environments or Population and the Environment or Resource Security (42 marks).

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes (96 marks).
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Component 3: Geographical investigation (20% of A-level)

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 (35 marks). Marked by teachers and moderated by AQA.

Careers/Further Education

Geography at Advanced level will equip you with a broad range of skills for any career or further study involving analysis of data or understanding of a given situation. It is particularly suitable if you have an interest in environmental issues, planning and education. It is also widely accepted for university entrance.

For more information contact: Mr P Moorfoot