Edexcel's GCE in Geography comprises four units and contains an Advanced Subsidiary subset of two AS units.The Advanced 2 Geog Field Trip Nov 2014Subsidiary GCE is the first half of the GCE course and consists of Units 1 and 2. It may be awarded as a discrete qualification or contribute 50 per cent to the total Advanced GCE marks.

The full Advanced GCE award consists of the two AS units (Units 1 and 2), plus two A2 units (Units 3 and 4) which make up the other 50 per cent of the Advanced GCE. Students wishing to take the full Advanced GCE must, therefore, complete all four units.

The structure of this qualification allows teachers to construct a course of study which can be taught and assessed either as:distinct modules of teaching and learning with related units of assessment taken at appropriate stages during the course; or a linear course which is assessed in its entirety at the end.

AS Unit 1: Global Challenges

Content summary:

The meaning, causes, impacts and management of global challenges. How we can influence global challenges through our own lives. There are two compulsory topics that form this unit:

Topic 1: World at Risk
Topic 2: Going Global


1-hour-and-30-minute examination in two sections.

Section A: objective items, data response and short-answer questions.
Section B: choice of Going Global or World at Risk longer/guided essay questions.

AS Unit 2: Geographical Investigations

Content summary

A closer look at how physical and human issues influence lives and can be managed. Students choose two topics from the four offered in this unit; there must be one physical and one human topic.

Students taking this course must attend a field course in October half term.

Physical topics

Topic 1: Extreme Weather, with its increasing ferocity and frequency, fascinates some people and threatens many others.
Topic 2: Crowded Coasts reveals how increasing development is testing our ability to manage these valued environments.

Human topics

Topic 3: Unequal Spaces explores the causes and consequences of rural and urban disparities and how to manage them.
Topic 4: Rebranding Places focuses on how we need to re-image and regenerate rural and urban places, using appropriate strategies.


1 hour 15 minutes examination in two sections.

The paper will assess the four optional topics offered. Candidates will answer one physical question from Section A and one human question from Section B. The questions require longer responses, each with three parts, designed to include data response, investigation and evaluation skills and related impacts/management issues.

A2 Unit 3: Contested Planet

Content summary

The use and management of resources is a key issue for geography in today's world. Consumption patterns highlight stark inequalities between regions, countries and groups of people. Many resources are finite, and rising consumption means that difficult decisions over the use of resources will have to be taken more frequently. There are six compulsory topics:

Topic 1: Energy Security
Topic 2: Water Conflicts
Topic 3: Biodiversity Under Threat
Topic 4: Superpower Geographies
Topic 5: Bridging the Development Gap
Topic 6: The Technological Fix?


2-hour-and-30-minute examination in two sections. Students will be asked to select and answer two questions from five in Section A and all questions in Section B.

Section A: A choice of two short essay questions from five.
Section B (Synoptic Investigation): One question with three parts.

A2 Unit 4: Geographical Research

Content summary

Options range from those with a strong physical geography focus, to those concerned more with environmental, social and cultural geographies. Students must select and study one of the following research options:

Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards
Option 2: Cold Environments – Landscapes and Change
Option 3: Life on the Margins – the Food Supply Problem
Option 4: The World of Cultural Diversity
Option 5: Pollution and Human Health at Risk
Option 6: Consuming the Rural Landscape – Leisure and Tourism.


1 hour and 30 minute examination. Candidates will be given a list of questions based on the six options. Candidates will select and answer one question that relates to the option they have studied.

Cultural diversity