Key Stage 5: A-Level Geography

Exam Board: OCR

To view the A Level OCR specification – please click here

Students have 8 hours per fortnight of Geography lessons, usually split between two teachers.

    Overview Students will be able to use the array of skills and knowledge learned at GCSE to develop their study at A Level. This linear, two-year course enables the students to take an in-depth examination of a variety of dynamic and contemporary topics, whilst preparing for the rigour of degree level Geography. The diversity of topics means that there is something for everyone to enjoy, as well as a residential field trip to Barcelona in early March of Year 12 to look forward to.


Topics Covered Paper 1: Physical Systems (22%)

·         Landscape Systems– Coastal studies of the UK and around the World. This topic enables students to explore the interrelationships between humans and the physical environment of the coast.

·         Earth’s Life Support Systems– How life on Earth is part of a connected system, with particular emphasis on the building blocks of life- water and carbon.

·         Geographical Skills


Paper 2: Human Interactions (22%)

·         Changing Spaces, Making Places– What makes a place different from a space or a location? This topic enables students to have a new perspective on words that we use everyday and to see their true geographical importance.

·         Global Connections (1)- Global Migration– The study of 21st Century movement of people around the World, between different types of countries and why.

·         Global Connections (2)- Power and Borders– The study of the complexities of the State, sovereignty, territory and power.

·         Geographical Skills


Paper 3: Geographical Debates (36%)

·         Disease Dilemmas– The study of the causes and factors affecting worldwide diseases and how they affect the demography of a nation. How can we fight diseases that have no boundaries?

·         Hazardous Earth– Exploring the hazards that the Earth’s surface brings, developing students’ interest in tectonic landscapes from Year 9. Students will use contemporary case studies to exemplify the theory and how humans and the physical environment interact.

·         Geographical Skills


Investigative Geography (20%)

·         Independent Investigation– Students are to independently write a 3-4,000 word investigation on a topic of their choice from within the specification. This is where students will use their Barcelona field trip  to collect the data that they need for their own personal studies.  This investigation is designed to challenge students’ enquiry and geographical skills. They will need these skills in small amounts in each paper too.


Assessment 3 exams at the end of Year 13 and one piece of NEA (non-examined assessment).

Exam papers:

1.       Physical Systems (22%) 66 marks, 1 hour 30 minutes;

2.       Human Interactions (22%) 66 marks, 1 hour 30 minutes;

3.       Geographical Debates (36%) 108 marks, 2 hours 30 minutes.

Non-examined assessment:

1.       Independent Investigation (20%) 60 marks.



Autumn Spring  



Year 12 Teacher 1 Landscape Systems (Coasts) Geographical Debates- Hazardous Earth (+ Mock) Global Connections (2)- Power and Borders
Year 12 Teacher 2 Changing Spaces; Making Places Geographical Skills and Field Trip (+ Mock) Investigative Geography
Year 13 Teacher 1 Earth’s Life Support Systems Revision and consolidation activities (+ Mock)
Year 13 Teacher 2 Geographical Debates- Disease Dilemmas Global Connections (1)- Global Migration (+ Mock) Revision




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