Why choose Geography?

A rapidly changing world scene makes geography a vital, dynamic and lively subject.

Welcome to Geography at Hills Road. From September 2016, you will be studying the new OCR specification. The course involves a good balance between physical and human geography.

Supporting you from GCSE to A level at Hills Road

We want you to enjoy Geography and succeed to your full potential. Our courses are very carefully planned to ensure the transition from GCSE is not too difficult. In the first term of the course there is a particularly wide range of lessons and plenty of opportunity for your input and feedback. There is an open, approachable culture in our classrooms. As extra support, we run lunchtime surgeries where students who are in difficulty can work in small groups or one-to-one with a teacher. You will also have the opportunity to stretch yourself by attending other lectures both inside and outside the College, advertised by the student-run Geography Society.

How will you work in Geography?

We work individually, in pairs, and in large groups. Activities will range from basic note-taking to quite complex data analysis using Excel. There is a strong emphasis on group work and discussion to share ideas. Written work ranges from short answers to report and essay writing. We also cover a range of numeracy skills.

“There’s a more hands-on approach to A level than with GCSE; the field trips are a great experience to meet new people and fully understand processes going on around you.”Geography

Fieldwork is regarded as very important at Hills Road and we offer residential field trips, which are very popular with students. The fieldwork is closely linked to work covered in the classroom and is seen as integral to one of the exam units for which a minimum of four days of fieldwork is compulsory.

Field trips are often the highlight as they are interesting, challenging and enjoyable. They are an essential part of the course and four days minimum field work is required by the specification. The cost of the residential field work is approximately £250, but application for funding assistance may be made in confidence.

About Geography

“Geography is one of those richly comprehensive subjects whose relevance is all around us. Where we come from, what we eat, how we move about and how we shape our future are all directly the province of the geographer. More than ever we need the geographer’s skills and foresight to help us learn about our planet - how we use it and how we abuse it.”

Michael Palin

Why was the Haitian earthquake (Jan 2010) so devastating? What will be the effects of the current increase in global average temperatures? How can issues of water and energy security be solved in a world with a rapidly growing population? What is driving the increase in global migration? How should areas of global importance e.g. Antarctica be protected? What challenges to humans face living in extreme environments? GeogIceland

These are important issues that geographers are involved in and a rapidly changing world scene makes geography a vital, dynamic and lively subject. Being able to understand some of the processes behind the changes and being able to predict possible outcomes means that geography students have important skills necessary to help manage the future of the planet. The current environmental concerns of climatic change, sea-level change, pollution, population growth and landscape degradation are all important global issues.

SicilyGeographers have a role to play in their solution and management because they study the underlying processes and their spatial interaction. Geographers are in particularly high demand for employment because of their high numeracy and literary skills as well as their ability to work well with other people in teams. It is a multidisciplinary subject in a world that increasingly values people who have the skills needed to work across the physical and social sciences (Guardian August 2015) and as a consequence, unemployment amongst geography graduates is much lower than the average for all subjects.

There is a flourishing Geography Society run by students who organise talks, revision courses, social events and other field visits, e.g. to Iceland in 2014 and to Sicily in 2016:​ 

Geography can be studied alongside any other subject at Advanced Level. Geography can make itself at home in all subject combinations because Geographers are usually so multi-talented!

There is a thriving student-run Geography Society that organises welcome events, quizzes, visiting speakers and students also lead seminars. All students are encouraged to attend local Geographical Association Sixth Form lectures held at Homerton College.

If you have any questions...

You can:
  • talk to teachers
  • send an email to Julia Thomson:

Jobs for Geographers

  • International Development
  • Climate change researcher
  • Town Planner
  • Catastrophe Risk Analyst
  • Crime and Disorder Advisor
  • Cartographer
  • GIS Analyst
  • Hydrologist
Geographers are in demand because of the wide range of skills that are developed, as well as the specific awareness of environmental issues and interrelationships that is unique to the subject. Geography students have good team-working and problem solving skills, as well as being literate, numerate and able to use IT to advantage.

“With geography graduates experiencing some of the lowest levels of graduate unemployment, there has never been a better time to study geography."

Royal Geographical Society

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade B in Geography or if not studied at GCSE, GCSE grade 6 (or B) in English Language or Literature, and GCSE grade 4 (or C) in Maths.

Awarding Body


Units of Study

Year 12


In the first year of study you will study ‘Changing Spaces; Making Places’ which looks at the dynamic and multi-layered understandings of places. You will also investigate Coastal landscapes exploring the coastlines of Dubai and Dorset and learn about the Earth’s life support systems – its carbon and water cycles in the Arctic and the Tropical Forests.

You also take a module in Investigative Geography with a fieldtrip to Norfolk to support your learning and your independent work on your own project. There will be an optional overseas study tour to Sicily in July.

Year 13


In the second year of study you will study contemporary topics of Migration and Power and Borders – studying places as diverse as South Sudan and Syria. Additionally you will study in depth two of the following topics: Disease, Exploring Oceans and Hazardous Earth. In these themes you will investigate some of the most complex problems facing us – resource insecurity and climate change as well as the role of globalisation.

Further details of the A level specification can be found here