Overview of Geography

Key Stage 3

Geography is taught to all pupils in years 8, 9 and 10 two periods per week. Pupils study aspects of the physical and human landscape and the relationships between people and their environments. Students engage in active and interesting lessons that encourage and develop independent learning but also build transferable skills such as effective communication and working with others.

Year 8: Topics within Year 8 are based within a Northern Ireland and UK context, allowing pupils to become familiar with the geography of their local surroundings. Topics studied include:

* Continents and Oceans
* Map work and Map Skills
* Ireland
* Geology
* Weather
* Settlement.

Year 9: Topics within Year 9 are based within a European Context. Topics studied include:

* Water
* Population
* Coasts.
* Weathering and Limestone
* European Union

Year 10: Topics within Year 10 are based within a global context. Topics studied include:

*Volcanoes & Earthquakes
* Tropical Rainforests
* Development, Aid & Trade
*Climate Change

Pupils in Year 10 have the opportunity to participate in W5’s ‘Seismic Skyscrapers’ event to aid their understanding of Earthquakes.


Key Stage 4

The CCEA GCSE Geography specification gives students a fascinating insight into how human and physical processes interact. Students develop their understanding of how geographical concepts affect our changing world. They examine how the growing worldwide population increases the demand on Earth’s systems. Students also develop as global citizens and recognise how they can contribute to a sustainable and inclusive future.

All units are externally assessed and cover a range of topics, including population and migration, contrasts in world development, climate change and the restless Earth. Students develop key transferable skills, such as data handling and analysis, self-management and problem solving.

Students’ learning extends beyond the classroom; they take part in fieldwork to collect primary data. They then present and analyse results, draw conclusions and reflect critically on the process.

The specification has three units:

Unit 1 (Year 11): Understanding Our Natural World – 40% of the final grade

The four compulsory themes include:
• Theme A: River Environments
• Theme B: Coastal Environments
• Theme C: Our Changing Weather and Climate
• Theme D: The Restless Earth

Unit 2 (Year 12): Living in Our World – 40% of the final grade

The four compulsory themes include:
• Theme A: Population and Migration
• Theme B: Changing Urban Areas
• Theme C: Contrasts in World Development
• Theme D: Managing Our Environment

Unit 3 (Year 12): Fieldwork – 20% of the final grade.

The fieldwork will be based around a river study which takes place in year 11 with the data analysed and interpreted at the beginning of year 12.


CCEA GCSE Geography Specification

Key Stage 5

AS Level

To study CCEA Geography at Advanced level it is recommended that students have a B grade in Geography, English and Maths at GCSE Level:

AS Unit One: Physical Geography

The three compulsory units include:

The Fluvial Environment (Rivers)
Atmosphere and Weather.

 AS Unit Two: Human Geography

The three compulsory units include:


AS Unit Three: Fieldwork skills and techniques in Geography

This unit is divided into two sections:

Section A – Fieldwork skills

Section B – Geographical Skills


A2 Level

Unit A2 1: Physical Processes, Landforms and Management

In this unit, students choose two options from the four available.
Option A: Plate Tectonics – Theory and Outcomes
Option B: Tropical Ecosystems – Nature and Sustainability
Option C: Dynamic Coastal Environments
Option D: Climate Change – Past and Present.

Unit A2 2: Processes and Issues in Human Geography

In this unit, students choose two options from the four available.
Option A: Cultural Geography
Option B: Planning for Sustainable Settlements
Option C: Ethnic Diversity
Option D: Tourism

Unit A2 3: Decision Making in Geography

In this unit, students develop decision-making skills in a real-world scenario.


CCEA GCE Specification