GCSE Geography

Geography is a course which familiarises students with this particular scientific field as well as providing them with a broad range of skills, from a knowledge of geological processes, environments repartition and spatial awareness, to the an understanding of the interactions between economic, social and cultural factors. Geography is therefore a course which merges the scientific and social disciplines, and is therefore ideal for those looking for a compromise between those.

Why study Geography?

It gives a full and well rounded understanding of the world and is therefore would give any students valuable insight providing transferable skills and knowledge in any field, but is particularly recommended in helping students make choices concerning vocational career path in Geography or related fields.

Which syllabus do we follow?

Ashbourne follows the AQA specification for GCSE Geography.

What is covered in this course?

Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4

Living with the physical environment

Section A: The challenge of natural hazards

  • The global distribution of natural hazards and the natural processes causing them
  • How natural hazards affect countries according to their level of development
  • Human activities and its impact on natural hazards
  • Predicting and reducing the impact of natural hazards
  • Evidence for climate change and its possible causes
  • The impact of climate change on people and the environment
  • How can climate change be managed

Section B: The living world

  • The interrelationships and balance between the components of small and large ecosystem
  • The characteristics of a range of ecosystems, and how human development of those ecosystems create both economical opportunities and challenges to the environments
  • How can those challenges be managed to minimize risks of damage to the environment

Section C: Physical landscapes in the UK

  • The UK’s diverse landscape, including coastal landscapes, river landscapes, glacial landscapes
  • The way coastal landscape is shaped by natural physical processes
  • Rock types and the processes of deposition and erosion
  • How coasts landscapes can be managed and protected
  • River landscape and how rivers change and affect the landscape
  • How can river lanscape be managed to avoid the risks of flooding
  • How the Ice Age shaped the landscape through a range of processes

Challenges in the human environment

Section A: Urban issues and challenges

  • The growing urbanisation of the world’s population
  • The opportunities and challenges created by urbanisation and how can those be managed, including case studies of UK cities
  • How to promote urban sustainability by managing resources and transports

Section B: The changing economic world

  • The global variations in economic developments and quality of life and how they can be measured using various factors
  • The causes and consequences of uneven development as well as the different strategies to reduce it
  • Countries experiencing rapid development and the changes this creates
  • How changes in the UK’s economy affect employment patterns and regional growth          
  • Section C: The challenge of resource management
    • Resources and their relationship to human development
    • The changing demands for resources in the UK
    • The rising demands for food and water resources and the issues arising from supply deficit
    • The different strategies to increase supply


Geographical applications

Section A: Issue evaluation

Students will evaluate a range of sources and answer a series of unseen questions by producing a piece of writing, drawing from their broader geographical knowledge and understanding. Students will have to weight different view points, issues, disagreement and, geographical context.

Section B: Fieldwork

This unit comprehends two geographical enquiries based on units 1 and 2 plus the collection of primary data on the field. Students will have to show an understanding of the interaction between physical and human geography.

Geographical skills

Students will develop a range of geographical skills, including cartographic, graphical, numerical, statistical skills, the use of qualitative and quantitative data, formulating enquiry and argument, literacy skills.

Those skills will be assessed across the three exam papers.