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Why study GCSE Geography?

GCSE geography courses are a good mix of topics such as urban issues, world development, extreme environments, rivers, and hazards – to name but a few. The course will give you the chance to get to grips with some of the big issues which affect our world, and understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which shape and change our world.
GCSE geography is designed to allow a large number of topics to be studied and to provide an insight into a variety of the most important and relevant geographical issues. This diversity also allows all students to find topics they are interested and engaged in. A selection of these are described below:

Course content:

Paper 1:

Global Hazards 
The Earth is 4.5 billion years old, but it is still a highly dynamic body continually undergoing changes. These changes result in the creation of a variety of hazards that pose a threat to both humans and the environment. Some of these hazards you will have already felt the effects of in the UK, such as climate change and weather hazards, whilst others occur in geographically distinct regions such as tectonic hazards and tropical storms. 

Ranging from hot arid to cold tundra environments - all have distinctive characteristics, which have lead to distinctive adaptations within their plant and animal communities. Whilst these environments all provide economic opportunities such as using rainforests for logging, farming or energy, they are extremely fragile environments which require sustainable management.

UK Physical Landscapes 
The distinctive landscape of the UK has been gradually formed over millions of years by coastal, glacial and fluvial (river based) processes, which continue to act today. A number of physical and human factors affect the processes of erosion, weathering, deposition and transportation.

Paper 2: 

Urban Issues 
Cities and urban areas are some of the most dynamic regions of the world. For the first time, a majority of the global population now lives in towns and cities, with the UN predicting this will increase to 75% by 2050 - highlighting the importance of studying these settlements. This topic looks at reasons why urban areas emerge and develop unevenly within and between countries and the challenges and opportunities that this creates.

Economic Development 
Globally, there are large variations in economic development and standards of living between countries. This topic looks at the reasons for, and consequences of, having a ‘global development gap’ in addition to why such divides occur nationally such as the UK’s north-south divide.

Resources Management
The demand for food, water and energy is rising across the globe, yet the supply of all of these resources is limited which can create conflicts. Technological advances allow new strategies to be used which can increase the supply of some resources, however these can be controversial such as genetically modified crops.

Paper 3: 

Fieldwork is an enjoyable opportunity to explore new environments, improving your understanding of topics as they come to life. Fieldwork provides you with useful skills in collecting, understanding and later communicating data to different audiences.  This paper will ask questions about the theory of fieldwork, and also about your own field work, which takes place in Year 11.

What can I do after GCSE Geography?

Natural Environment: 

  • Coastal Engineer 
  • Hydrologists 
  • Earth Scientist 
  • Weather Forecaster 

Maps and software 

  • GIS Specialist 
  • Military GIS specialist 
  • Mapping software designer
  • Surveyor 

You will gain many transferable skills such as place knowledge,the ability to look at things from different perspectives and use of data, to name but a few.

If you have any questions about GCSE Geography, please speak to Mr White or your Geography teacher