“The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together” – Barack Obama

Through studying geography, students begin to appreciate how places and landscapes are formed, how people and environments interact and what a diverse range of cultures and societies exist and interconnect. Geography is a subject which builds on young people’s own experiences, helping them to formulate questions, develop their intellectual skills and find answers to issues affecting their lives.

It introduces them to distinctive investigative tools such as maps, fieldwork and the use of data to formulate conclusions and prepare them for employment. It opens their eyes to the beauty and wonder around them and acts as a source of inspiration and creativity. More than this, it ensures that they appreciate the complexity of attitudes and values which shape the way we use and misuse the environment.

Course content

Students will sit three exam papers, two of which will last 1 hour 30 minutes, each worth 35% of the full AQA GCSE. The exam content will include:

• The Challenge of Natural Hazards
• The Living World
• Physical Landscapes in the UK
• Urban Issues and Challenges
• The Changing Economic World
• The Challenge of Resource Management

The final exam will last 1 hour 15 minutes, and is worth 30% of the final GCSE. This will be based on their fieldwork, geographical skills and a pre-release exam booklet.

Skills developed

  • Research skills, such as using a range of methods for the collection and analysis of spatial and environmental data, and undertaking fieldwork.
  • Transferable skills, such as teamwork, problem solving, IT skills, map skills, interpreting images, communication skills (presentation, writing, debating).
  • Intellectual skills, such as critically evaluating theories and judging evidence in order to make informed decisions and to develop reasoned arguments.
  • Personal attributes, such as self-reflection, motivation, flexibility, and creativity.


Description Length Percentage Comment
Paper 1 1 hour 30 mins 35
Paper 2 1 hour 30 mins 35
Paper 3 1 hour 15 mins 30


Geography is useful for a wide range of jobs and careers. Here are just some job ideas using Geography with an idea of the qualification levels usually expected. There are many more where the skills you have developed will be important.

• Research any ideas you may be interested in
• Check out different entry routes
• You may need other subjects (e.g. sciences) for some of the jobs
• Employers have different entry requirements, which may be higher
• Widen your horizons – don’t just stick with what you know

FOUNDATION LEVEL – (e.g. GCSEs grades 1-4, Foundation Diploma, Foundation Learning)
• Park Warden
• Coastguard Watch
• Coach/Lorry Driver
• Forest worker
• Emergency Services Control Room Operator
• Gamekeeper
• Deckhand
• Travel Courier

LEVEL 2 – (e.g. GCSEs grade 9-5, Higher Diploma, Apprenticeship)
• Freight Forwarder
• Holiday Representative
• Surveying Technician
• Merchant Navy Rating
• Town Planning Support Staff
• Estate Agent
• Tourist Information Centre Assistant
• Travel Agent
• Air Cabin Crew
• Civil Service Administrative Assistant/Officer (e.g. Depts. of Energy and Climate Change/ Environment, Food and Rural Affairs/ Immigration)
• Countryside Ranger

LEVEL 3 and above (e.g. A levels, Advanced/Progression Diploma, Advanced Apprenticeship and often Higher Education qualifications)
• Logistics Manager
• GIS Specialist
• Estate Manager
• Town Planner
• Environmental Consultant
• Air Traffic Controller
• Teacher/Lecturer
• Mapping Software Designer
• Countryside/Conservation Manager
• Transport and Logistics Planner
• Cartographer