Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

Course Content

There are many good reasons for studying Geography:

  • You will explore our exciting world and our dynamic societies, environments, landscapes and cultures.
  • You will use your knowledge and understanding of our planet to tackle big issues such as environmental responsibility, global interdependence and hazard management.
  • You will develop essential skills for university and future employment including literacy, numeracy, ICT, problem solving, teamwork, thinking skills and enquiry.
  • Geography combines well with both arts and science subjects
  • You will have many opportunities to conduct your own research by attending a range of field courses in diverse locations. Recent destinations include Snowdonia, Cornwall, California, Morocco, Iceland and Uganda.

Methods of Teaching

Geography lessons feature a wide range of teaching and learning techniques including decision-making exercises, discussions and debates, textual analysis and independent research using interactive resources.

We offer a wide range of extension opportunities including involvement with the Hampshire Geographical Association and the Cambridge University HE+ scheme. All students will participate in non-residential field courses in the local area and residential field courses are offered in the UK and overseas.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

Year 1:  80% of the 2 year A level course is assessed in two 2 hour 30 minute exams. 20% is assessed through an independent fieldwork and research investigation. You will study:

  • Hazards - Study the tectonic and atmospheric hazards (volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami and storms) to understand their origin and nature, impacts and management strategies.
  • Water and carbon cycles - Understand the magnitude and significance of these cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations.
  • Changing place; changing places - Examine the relationships and connections between people, the economy, society and the environment to explain why places are constantly changing.

Year 2: Topics include:

  • Dynamic physical landscapes - Explore earth surface processes, landforms and resultant landscapes; glacial, coastal or hot deserts.
  • Contested Planet  An investigation into global connectivity and governance to understand the ways in which global systems shape relationships between individuals, states and environments and their consequences
  • Options include the study of contemporary urban environments, population and the environment or resource security.

Where Could It Take Me?

According to the Royal Geographical Society “Geography graduates are very employable, with the skills, knowledge and understanding gained during a geography degree held in high regard by employers. The nature of working lives is changing. It is less likely that you will spend all of your working life in one organisation or even in the same sector. If your career path is to be varied, you will need transferable skills and flexibility. Geography provides you with these.”

Many A level Geography students choose to study geography at university and with growing interest in issues such as climate change, energy security, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, Geography is one of the most relevant degree courses you could choose to study.

Financial Implications

There is a minimum requirement of four days fieldwork for the A level course (approx. £10 per day). Optional residential fieldwork opportunities are also offered in the UK (approx. £300) as well as overseas fieldwork opportunities. The 2023 field courses were to Sicily (approx. £1000) and Uganda (approx. £2,500) and recent destinations include SAn Francisco,  Morocco and Iceland.

We offer a specialist journal at half price (approx. £15) and you can join the Geographical Association (GA). Students are strongly encouraged to subscribe and attend the GA lectures and conferences.

Students will need to buy the course textbook (approx. £45). There are copies for loan in the library. The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Mathematics and English. Either GCSE Grade 4 achieved in Geography and a single science or Grade 4s in any two single sciences or Combined Science (if no Geography GCSE).

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A* A B C D E U Total
Total: 15 80 58 31 10 6 0 200
Percentage 7.5 40.0 29.0 15.5 5.0 3.0 0.0