The specification consists of three units:

Unit B561: Sustainable Decision Making

Unit B562: Geographical Enquiry

Unit B563: Key Geographical Themes

The three units provide opportunities for candidates to give evidence of a range of geographical skills.

The Sustainable Decision Making exercise will be based on pre-released material linked to one of the four key themes and will develop real-life skills relevant to future decision making. 

Fieldwork and issues analysis required for the Controlled Assessment unit focus on the development of an enquiry and its associated skills in the context of fieldwork and nine geographical themes (Disease, Trade, Ecosystems, Sport, Fashion, Energy, New Technologies, Crime and Tourism).

The final unit requires an understanding of three of the four key themes assessed through a written examination.

The content of the four key themes is clearly set out in the form of ‘Questions for Investigation’, ‘Key Ideas’ and ‘Content’ including clear statements where case studies are required.

This specification has highly relevant content that will give candidates access to modern world issues at a range of scales, from local to global. It also provides a clear structure that will allow constructive teaching and learning. Teachers will be able to deliver a varied yet manageable programme, which can include modern resources (e.g. web-based/GIS), innovative ideas and up-to-date teaching methods.

There are four key themes shared by units B561 and B563. Candidates are expected to study all four themes during their course.

Theme 1: Rivers and Coasts

Theme 2: Population and Settlement

Theme 3: Natural Hazards

Theme 4: Economic Development

One of these themes will be assessed in Unit B561 and the other three in Unit B563.