At a glance – the CCSS approach

This course will encourage you to look at the world in a whole new way from day one. We will inspire you to consider new viewpoints, explore the physical landscape around you and appreciate the complexities of the human environment. We will help you to understand the processes which form the physical world as we explore the awe inspiring power of ice, rivers and waves. We examine how people are constantly shaping and reshaping their environment through the development of urban spaces and the changes in energy supply and demand.

You will be taught in a small group, generally around four students, you will be encouraged to develop personal responses to the case studies explored in class. The learning methods adopted on this course are varied and include group discussions, independent study, analysing videos and responding to stimulus material. Due to the pace of the course it is essential that you are willing to conduct independent research to complement the learning in class.

We will take you out of the college environment to consider geography through field work and also to appreciate, first hand, some of the topics we discuss in the classroom. We do this through visiting new and exciting exhibitions locally in Cambridge.

Course structure

The specification has 4 units, you will be taught 2 topics concurrently throughout the year, this will allow you to develop links between units and allow you to see the level of synopticity between the different topics. This is one of the ways in which we help you to undertake the A Level course in a year and helps you to move through the course at a comfortable pace.

Unit 1: Managing Physical Environments

You will study three modules within this unit, all exploring the changing physical environment. You will examine how rivers shape the landscape and how humans adapt their courses. You will look at the power of the sea in shaping the coastline and how humans are attempting to protect their homes as sea levels rise and storm events become more frequent. You will study a range of examples from both the UK and around the world. You will also explore the phenomenal power of ice and how it has carved mountains and altered the shape of the UK. You will consider how humans interact with frozen landscapes and the damage that they can also cause.
Assessment of this unit is a one and a half hour written examination

Unit 2: Managing Change in Human Environments

You will study three modules within this unit, all exploring the changing human environment. You will examine how urban spaces are growing and changing around the world and also consider how cities are making themselves more sustainable. You will explore how energy is harnessed and consider the future opportunities for energy production at a local and countrywide scale. You will also think about tourism, learning how and why tourism has grown into the major industry it is today as well as considering how tourism can impact on the area of destination.
Assessment of this unit is a one and a half hour written examination

Unit 3: Global Issues

You will study three modules within this unit: these encompass both environmental and economic issues. This part of the course encourages you to understand the changing nature of geography in the twenty first century as we study up to date examples of hazardous events, development and globalisation. You will study earth hazards at both a local and global scale, developing an understanding that such hazards are dynamic, that they change over time and space. You will also study development in individual countries and at a broader regional scale. You will question why the world’s resources remain so unequally distributed and will begin to evaluate and analyse why this is still the case today.
Assessment of this unit is a two and a half hour written examination

Unit 4: Geographical Skills

You will develop an understanding of the processes involved in geographical research and fieldwork. You will develop the skills required to complete individual pieces of fieldwork and will be able to complete this work using ICT and using geographical tools such as Geographical information systems? to enhance this work. You will develop the skills to interpret and evaluate your findings and link these to the geographical theories and models which you have studied in other units.
Assessment of this unit is a one and a half hour written examination.

Suitable combinations

Geography combines well with any other subjects at A Level. Some students opt for a combination of traditional social sciences (History, Government and Politics, Psychology and Sociology). Others have partnered geography with maths and science, which works equally well due to the links between geography and the sciences. Geography also works with combinations of modern languages and business and economics. Geography covers a broad spectrum of topics which enables it to link with almost any A Level combination.

After A-Level

Geography will open endless doors for you as it is such a varied subject which will help enable you to study almost any subject at degree level. Geography is also highly regarded by top UK universities as it is considered one of the ‘facilitating’ group of A Levels for university admission. It will allow you to pursue Science, Social Science and Arts degrees when combined with different A Level subjects. Geography students go onto follow a wide variety of career paths from Law to Antarctic exploration to Medicine and Marketing.