Key stage 5


“It used to be a Cinderella subject. Now, in a world that increasingly values people who can work across the physical and social sciences, geography’s all the rage.”

Geographers get to learn data analysis. They learn geographic information systems. They can turn maps from a two-dimensional representation of a country’s physical contours into a tool that illustrates social attributes or attitudes: not just where people live, but how, what they think and how they vote. They learn about the physics of climate change, or the interaction of weather events and flood risk, or the way people’s behaviour is influenced by the space around them.

All these are not just intrinsically interesting and valuable. They also encourage ways of seeing and thinking that make geographers eminently employable, which is why, according to the latest information from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, only 5.8% of geography graduates were still job-hunting six months after they graduated, against an average of 7.3%.” The Guardian, Thu 13 Aug 2015.

A Level Geography consists of the following themes:

  • Physical systems
  • Human interactions
  • Geographical debates
  • Investigative geography


GCSE level 6 minimum in Geography with a level 5 in both English and Maths.

You can take Geography without having done Geography GCSE but you must have achieved a level 6 or higher in English and show a real passion for the subject now.


Physical systems

Through the study of Physical systems learners will develop an understanding and appreciation of Landscape Systems, specifically coastal landscapes, as well as studying the Earth’s Life Support Systems, which encompasses the water and carbon cycles vital to our planet.

Human interactions

Learners will explore Human interactions through the study of Global Connections, focusing on the system of trade and the governance of human rights. Furthermore, the second unit of Changing Spaces; Making Places, gives learners an insight into the nature of places and the fluidity of their meanings and representations.

Geographical debates

Geographical debates the exploration in depth of two of the most challenging, dynamic and fascinating issues of the 21st century. Focusing on disease and tectonic hazards, there are debates to appeal to all with the implications on people and the environment being at the heart of this component.

Investigative geography

The Investigative geography component allows learners to undertake an independent investigation linked to any aspect of the specification to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. This component is designed to encourage learners to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their chosen topic whilst developing a number of geographical and study skills relevant to Higher Education or within the world of work. Common investigations focus on rivers, coasts, tourism and urban issues.


Final exam components

  • Paper 1: Physical systems

Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins – 66 marks – 22%

  • Paper 2: Human interactions

Written Paper – 1 hour 30 mins – 66 marks – 22%

  • Paper 3: Geographical debates

Written Paper – 2 hour 30 mins – 108 marks – 36%

  • Paper 4: Investigative geography

Non-examination assessment (independent coursework) – 60 marks – 20%

Course specifications

  • OCR A Level Geography
  • Qualifications: A Level
  • QN Code: 601/8576/4
  • Examining body: OCR


  • Tourism
  • Environmental Science
  • Surveyor
  • Town Planning
  • Writer
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Cartographer


Mr S Petrie.