Geography GCSE

What will you learn?

Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world's current problems boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them. Global warming, sustainable food production, natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, the spread of disease, the reasons for migration and the future of energy resources are just some of the great challenges facing the next generation of geographers. Geography helps you to make sense of the world around you. It is hands on, it is relevant and it is highly engaging in an ever changing and dynamic world. The course will give you the chance to get to grips with some of the big questions which affect our world, and understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which shape and change our world.


Topics covered:

  • Natural Hazards (tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions)

  • Climate Change (historical patterns, natural causes, human influences and local/regional and global effects)

  • Development (development indicators and their limitations, physical, economic and historical causes of the global development gap, with a full case study of the development of India)

  • Urbanisation (population and urbanisation trends, migration patterns, causes and consequences of globalisation, including full case studies of London and Mumbai)

  • The physical geography of the UK (geology of the UK, our rivers and our coasts - focusing on causes and consequences of erosion, flooding and human influenced landscapes)

  • The human geography of the UK (recent historical trends in population and migration, focusing on diversity and demographic/political differences around the UK, including ranges in wealth, health and education)

  • Fieldwork (active fieldwork - trips out of school to focus on investigating a fieldwork question - one based on rivers and one based on a UK town/city)

  • Biomes (a focus on the location, climate, flora/fauna differences and threats to the world’s major biomes, with an in depth focus on tropical rainforests and boreal forests [taiga])

  • Energy Resources (the challenge we face in the world today with the movement away from fossil fuels to renewable energy yet at the same time ensuring the economic and social development of countries is not negatively affected)

What resources will I need?

  • Access to Google Earth or an Atlas

  • CGP Revision Guide, Workbook and Exam Answer Booklet (supplied by the school at a small charge)

How will you be assessed?

  • 3 exam papers at the end of the GCSE course


  1. Component 1: Global Geographical Issues (Paper 1 code: 1GB0/01)

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes

37.5% of the qualification 94 marks

Content overview

● Topic 1: Hazardous Earth

● Topic 2: Development dynamics

● Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world

The exam includes multiple-choice questions, short open, open response and extended writing questions, calculations and 8-mark extended writing questions.


  1. Component 2: UK Geographical Issues (Paper 2 code: 1GB0/02)

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes

37.5% of the qualification 94 marks

Content overview

● Topic 4: The UK’s evolving physical landscape – including sub-topics 4A: Coastal change and conflict and 4B: River processes and pressures.

● Topic 5: The UK’s evolving human landscape – including a Case Study - Dynamic UK cities.

● Topic 6: Geographical investigations – including one physical fieldwork investigation and one human fieldwork investigation linked to Topics 4 and 5.

The exam includes multiple-choice questions, short open, open response and extended writing questions, calculations and 8-mark extended writing questions.


  1. Component 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions (Paper 3 code: 1GB0/03)

Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes

25% of the qualification 64 marks

Content overview

● Topic 7: People and the biosphere

● Topic 8: Forests under threat

● Topic 9: Consuming energy resources

The exam includes multiple-choice questions, short open, open response and extended writing questions. One section will include 8-mark extended writing questions and another section will offer a choice of one from three decisions assessed through a 12-mark extended writing question.

Where can this subject take you in the future?

Geography is a broad based academic subject which will open up options for you in your future. Employers and universities see geography as a robust academic subject rich in skills, knowledge and understanding. As a subject linking the arts and the sciences it is highly flexible in terms of what you can combine it with, both at GCSE and A Level. If you choose to take geography on to university there are literally hundreds of courses to choose from and the range of career areas accessed by graduates of geography will probably surprise you.