GCSE Geography

Geography is an extremely popular option subject at GCSE. Groups are mixed ability with up to twenty students per group. Here at Birkdale we follow the GCSE (9-1) Edexcel Specification A.

This involves a thematic based learning approach and allows pupils to focus on the Geographical Processes that shape our world through a study of Physical and Human Geography at all scales from local to global in different parts of the world.

There are three components/papers:

Paper 1: The Physical Environment (1 hour 30 minute examination; 37.5% of GSCE)

The changing landscapes of the UK – River landscapes, Glaciated landscapes

Weather hazards and climate change – Tropical storms, Drought

Ecosystems, biodiversity and management – Tropical Rainforests, Temperate deciduous woodlands


Paper 2: The Human Environment (1 hour 30 minute examination; 37.5% of GCSE)

Changing Cities – Case studies of a major UK city (Sheffield) and a city in a developing or emerging country (Mumbai)

Global Development – Case study of a developing or emerging country (China)

Resources and management – A study of Energy resources


Paper 3: Geographical Investigations (1 hour 30 minute examination; 25% of GCSE)

Fieldwork (residential course)

One fieldwork day completing a River investigation (Snowdonia)

One field day completing an urban investigation (Sheffield)

UK Challenges

A study of four key challenges facing the UK:

  1. Resource consumption and environmental sustainability
  2. Settlement, population and economics
  3. Landscape
  4. Climate change 

There is no coursework or controlled assessment but fieldwork is assessed in Paper 3. There will be one day of fieldwork in Sheffield and a 3-day residential fieldwork course in Snowdonia.

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