Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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Course title:  Geography A Level Pearson Edexcel 

Academic year:


Course Venues:

Blessed William Howard Catholic High School

Course Type:

A Level

Course Code:



2 years

Course Description: 

The course is aimed at students who have an interest in the environment and are interested in current affairs. Students who enjoy travel and want the opportunity to carry out practical work outdoors as well as classwork. Students who enjoy working in groups and independently and wish to broaden their studies to cover Sciences and Humanities. Students will conduct their own fieldwork investigation in a topic of their choice so this can complement other Arts or Sciences course content options in either a physical or human research project.

The course involves the study of our natural and human environments. It is a practical course based on 4 days of fieldwork over the two years, 2 days for physical geography on either Coastal or Glacial Environments and 2 days for human geography in an urban and rural setting.

Course Content: 

  • Paper 1: Physical Geography (30% of A level, 2h15m exam worth 105 marks) Covers the themes of Natural Hazards, Glaciation or Coastal Landscapes and Change, Water cycle and water insecurity, Carbon cycle and energy security
  • Paper 2: Human Geography (30% of A level, 2h15m exam worth 105 marks) Covers the themes of Globalisation and Superpowers, Regenerating Places and Migration, identity and sovereignty
  • Paper 3 (20% of A level, 2h15m worth 70 marks): The synoptic investigation will be based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas
  • Non-Examined Assessment (coursework, 20% of the A level worth 70 marks): Students complete an individual study based on a theme of their choice by collecting primary data in the field and secondary research from other sources. It is marked by your teachers then moderated by Edexcel.

Additional Information:

  • A compulsory residential field trip is organised in the Summer Term of Year 12 for the NEA to cover practical teaching elements and core statistical skills required in the course. Financial help is available to support participation.

Entry requirements: 

The standard entry criteria to study in the sixth form is a 9-4 in at least seven different subjects, including English and Mathematics, which would usually be at grade 4 or above

To study other subjects already taken at GCSE you must achieve at least a grade 5 or above in that subject.

Financial Information: Fieldwork trip and revision books.

Future opportunities:  

A Level Geographers have access to a wide range of possible career and Higher Education opportunities because their skills are of great value and in much demand by employers and universities alike. As a bridging subject, Geography is classified by red brick universities as a Science, Arts and Humanities subject because it complements all other A level subjects, including medical and veterinary Science courses.


Further information: To find out more about this qualification, contact Mrs Aylott or ask your Careers Adviser or school/college careers staff.